Notre Dame ravaged by flames but cross miraculously survives

The Paris’ world famous cathedral went up in flames last night as the world watched on in horror.

Dozens of people joined together in song to make a heartbreaking tribute in front of the Notre Dame cathedral.

In the gut wrenching footage, Parisians gathered together to sing Ave Maria and share in their grief as they watch the cathedral burn.

The iconic building – which has proudly stood over the city for more than 850 years – caught fire yesterday evening has so far suffered untold damage.

Raphaelle Bacqué, a journalist for French newspaper Le Monde, shared photos on Twitter showing the extent of the damage to the inside of the cathedral.

Miraculously, among the devastation, the alter and cross at the centre of the building remain intact.

Pictures show a smouldering pile of what appeared to be the charred remains of the roof and spire lay smoking in front of the altar, while a cross that had escaped destruction glowed from within the gloom.

Video footage showed the inferno tearing apart the iconic structure – with the spire collapsing into the abyss of the flames.

The world has reacted in mourning as the cathedral which has survived two World Wars appears to have destroyed an in accident linked to ongoing renovations.

Despite fire racing through Notre Dame’s roof, firefighters were able to prevent the blaze consuming the cathedral’s main structure, including its two bell towers.

There were hopes that the three famous rose windows, which date back to the 13th century, avoided catastrophic damage, while the bells that have rung out at key moments in France’s history were thought to be safe.

French president Emmanuel Macron launched fundraising efforts to save and rebuild the iconic structure as he visited Notre Dame.

“Notre Dame is our history, our imagination, where we’ve lived all our great moments, and is the epicentre of our lives,” Mr Macron said.

“It’s the story of our books, our paintings. It’s the cathedral for all French people, even if they have never been.

“But it is burning and I know this sadness will be felt by all of our citizens.”

The remaining pockets of fire have been completely extinguished, fire chiefs announced this morning, as crews dampened down hotspots and secured the world-famous edifice.

The Paris prosecutors’ office said police will carry out an investigation into “involuntary destruction caused by fire”.

It indicates authorities are treating the blaze as a tragic accident for now.

Notre Dame is one of Paris’s oldest and most recognisable buildings, and work began on it in 1163.

The original structure was completed nearly 200 years later, in 1345, and its name literally translates to “Our Lady of Paris”.

Some 13 million people now visit the Catholic landmark every year – more than 30,000 every day on average – according to its official website, and it is believed to be one of the most visited structures in the French capital.

Renovation works to fix Notre Dame’s historic stone walls and buttresses were estimated to cost around 150 million euro (£130million).

Salma Hayek’s billionaire husband has pledged £86million to help rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral after the apocalyptic blaze. 

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