Latest news as world-famous French church suffers devastating blaze
Angelique Chrisafis, the Guardian’s Paris correspondent, is speaking to eyewitnesses at the scene.
Standing at the police cordon, Camille, 20, from Normandy, a history student at the Sorbonne, says: “There’s a feeling of total sadness and also anger. It’s our heritage. People in the crowd have been singing hymns. Whether you’re Christian or not, part of our history is going up in smoke.”
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World leaders and politicians have continued to express their solidarity with France.
The president of the European commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, described the fire as a horror and a sad spectacle. “I am minute by minute watching the fire of which Notre-Dame de Paris is the prey,” a press release read. “Our Lady of Paris belongs to the whole of mankind. What a sad spectacle. What a horror. I share the emotion of the French nation which is also ours.”
Have just come away from the bank of the Seine after the spire fell as I can’t bear to watch any more. Fearful for anyone close to the flames, and aghast that centuries of history & beauty could disappear into smoke so fast pic.twitter.com/yxIVBz9RAn