Spire of centuries-old landmark destroyed after flames burst through the roof

Thousands of Parisians watched in horror from behind police cordons as a ferocious blaze devastated Notre Dame Cathedral, destroying its spire and a large part of the roof.

Firefighters battled to contain the fire, which began at around 6pm on Monday. An investigation has been opened by the prosecutor’s office, but police said it began accidentally and may be linked to building work at the cathedral. The 850-year-old gothic masterpiece had been undergoing restoration work.

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