France’s Notre Dame cathedral ravaged by fire

21:04 (GMT+2) Mon, 15 Apr 2019

A clock on the facade of the iconic Notre Dame cathedral in Paris has fallen down amid a huge blaze that has ravaged part of the ancient building.

News agency Sputnik reports that the roof of the cathedral has entirely collapsed after the fire engulfed its bell towers and consumed the steeple, which crumbled and fell.

French President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Edouard Philippe are on their way to the scene.

"A whole nation is in sorrow," Macron wrote in a Tweet.

"My thoughts are with all Catholics and all French citizens," Macron adds. "Like all our countrymen, I am sad to see this part of us burning this evening."

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump said “airborne water tankers might have been an option to save the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris from total destruction”.

“So horrible to watch the massive fire at Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris,” Trump said via Twitter. “Perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out. Must act quickly!”

The fire reportedly began at around 6:50 p.m. local time, according to the Paris fire department.

The fire may have been started accidentally during renovation works underway inside the cathedral, according to media reports.

Police are currently treating the fire as an accident.