Parisians were “in tears” and in “total disbelief” as they witnessed the spire and roof of the historic cathedral collapse, claimed a Sky News correspondent. Dominic Waghorn reported “grown men and women” crying and “gasping in shock” at the blaze. Speaking on Sky News from Paris, the Diplomatic Editor said: “Every time a bit of the roof falls there’s more flames thrown into the Parisian sky line and there’s a gasp from the crowds standing around me. The biggest gasp was when the spire halfway down towards the back of the cathedral, that had been burning for around half an hour or so, collapsed and fell into the flames below with a massive tower of yellow smoke towering above it.
“When that happens you can see people literally just gasped in shock and I’m surrounded by people who are not saying an awful lot, I think the overwhelming emotion is just one of shock.
“People are just standing still and cannot believe what they are seeing. It’s hard to think of a more iconic building than the Notre Dame Cathedral.”
He added: “There was one family just in front of me and the young daughter was inconsolable, in tears, being hugged by her father and he looked close to tears too and he led her away so she didn’t see anymore.
“I have seen grown men, grown women, crying as well in total shock at what they are seeing.
“Total disbelief at what they are seeing.”
The spire and roof of the landmark in France’s capital have collapsed as flames rip though the 850-year-old building.
The cause of the fire is not yet known.
Huge crowds are gathering as thick smoke and flames rise from the landmark in France’s capital.
Firefighters confirmed a blaze had started at the medieval cathedral.
They said that a major operation is under way and a city hall spokesman added that the area was being cleared.
A church spokesman said all of the cathedral’s frame was burning after the spire collapsed.
The emergency services were trying to salvage the priceless artwork stored in the cathedral.
President Trump tweeted: “So horrible to watch the massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
“Perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out. Must act quickly!”
French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted: Our Lady of Paris in flames. Emotion of a whole nation. Thought for all Catholics and for all French.
“Like all our countrymen, I’m sad tonight to see this part of us burn.”