Massive Fire Breaks Out at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

Renovations had been underway at the cathedral

A "significant fire" has broken out at Notre Dame Cathedral in central Paris, according to the national police.

The severity of the fire is not yet fully determined, but firefighters indicated that the it began in the attic of the cathedral.

A major operation is under way to tackle the blaze, which broke out on Monday afternoon.

"This is so much history going up in flames".

"A awful fire is underway at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris", Mayor Anne Hidalgo said on Twitter.

The fire was reportedly started by accident, according to local media.

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A collection of dramatic videos and photos spread through social media showing the roof and spire of the almost 900-year-old cathedral engulfed in flames and massive amounts of smoke billowing up from its roof.

Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo labelled the fire "terrible" despite the extent of the damage being unclear at this stage.

It is the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Paris, and is visited by some 12million people every year.

The fire department was fighting the flames, while the area near the cathedral was being cleared.

The Medieval cathedral is one of the main attractions of the French capital, seeing 12 million tourists a year.

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