A large fire has broken out at Paris’s famous Notre-Dame cathedral and has rapidly spread across the historic grounds, the BBC reports.
The cause of the incident was not immediately clear, but officials speculate that renovation work could have started it. The building was undergoing operations to fix cracks in its stone structure. Images of this incident have rapidly spread across social media, depicting the 850-year-old Gothic building surrounded by pillars of smoke.
A major operation to stop the fire, which erupted Monday afternoon, is currently taking place. Areas surrounding the building in the center of Paris have been cleared, according to officials.
According to an Élysée Palace official, the fire has consumed the cathedral's giant spire.
In light of the breaking event, French President Emmanuel Macron has canceled his planned address to the nation.
Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, called the incident a "terrible fire" and urged individuals to respect the fire crews and their instructions to ensure order and safety.
President Trump suggested that Paris firefighters use "perhaps flying water tanks" to combat the flames surrounding the cathedral visited by millions each year.