TV footage shows French cathedral’s spire now clear of smoke

by Admin
TV footage shows French cathedral's spire now clear of smoke

A thick plume of dark smoke that was seen rising from the spire of the gothic cathedral in the French city of Rouen in Normandy was no longer visible on the latest live TV footage from BFM channel on Thursday.

Authorities said earlier the spire had caught fire during renovation works, as footage showed people in the streets below looking up in horror at the sight of the dark smoke billowing from inside the scaffolding into the sky.

In the latest images, smoke could still be seen through a gap in the white cover encircling the scaffolding around the spire but was no longer rising in a dark column.

A jewel of French medieval gothic architecture, the cathedral dates back to the 12th century and was repeatedly painted by impressionist artist Claude Monet in the 19th century, lifting its worldwide fame.

The earlier scenes were reminiscent of the devastating fire at Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris in 2019, which also started during renovation works.

In April this year, fire ripped through Copenhagen’s Old Stock Exchange, one of the Danish capital’s most historic landmarks, and toppled its spire. Large parts of the outer walls later collapsed.

The Rouen cathedral spire had been surrounded by scaffolding and the white cover for several weeks.

The local prefecture, which exercises state authority in the region, said the cathedral had been evacuated and emergency services were on the scene. A security cordon was in place around the building.

The prefecture said there were no reports of casualties and the extent of the damage was unclear for now.

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