This photo shows a blaze at the Cathedral of Saint Pierre and Saint Paul in Nantes on Saturday. Reuters
Dozens of firefighters were Saturday battling a major fire inside a cathedral in the western French city of Nantes, emergency services said.
Fire crews were alerted just before 08am (0600 GMT) to the blaze at the Cathedral of St Peter and St Paul, construction on which started in the 15th century, the emergency operations centre said.
French firefighters battle a blaze at the Cathedral of Saint Pierre and Saint Paul in Nantes, France, on Saturday. Reuters
It said the "major fire" was still advancing and 60 firefighters had been dispatched to the scene.
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The gothic structure was last hit by fire in 1972. Its roof took more than 13 years to repair.
Another religious building in Nantes — the Basilica of St Donatian and St Rogatian — was struck by a fire in 2015 that destroyed three-quarters of its roof.
In April last year, a fire engulfed Paris's 13th century Notre-Dame Cathedral, causing its steeple to collapse and sending billowing fumes containing toxic molten lead into the air. The structure will take years to repair.Agence France-Presse
Prosecutor Pierre Sennes told reporters three fires had been started at the site and authorities were treating the incident as a criminal act. He gave no other details.
Indonesia on Friday rejected Malaysian complaints about hazardous smoke drifting from its forest fires across the border, saying blazes were also raging in parts of Malaysia and on Malaysian-owned plantations in Indonesia.
It seems the cruellest of ironies: an edifice constructed over the span of centuries, consumed by flames and streamed in real time to an audience of hundreds of millions.
The French, who know a thing or two about the bold reinvention of architectural landmarks (consider I.M. Pei’s once-despised, now-iconic Louvre Pyramid), have announced an international design competition to restore or redesign the destroyed spire of Notre Dame cathedral.
A Pakistani Sikh businessman and a Christian cleaner were shot dead by unknown assailants in separate incidents in the northwestern city of Peshawar, police said on Saturday.
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