Watch the moment when Notre Dame's burning spire topples over

Watch the moment when Notre Dame's burning spire topples over

French President Emmanuel Macron pledged to rebuild the beloved Roman Catholic architectural landmark, and wanted to see it completed within five years.

'Fire at Notre Dame - the Culture Ministry announces that the rooster on the spire of the cathedral has been found'. "The spire ... is what we saw from a distance in Paris", she told the ABC. There they will be dehumidified, protected and eventually restored. "Today's dying, we trust, will bring rising", Dolan said outside St. Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan.

"Everything would have collapsed", said Lt Col Michael Bernier, a fire chief who speaks for France's civil defence organisation and who described the suggestion as "risible".

"It was technically impossible, undoable and most of all would have been utterly useless" to douse the flames from the air, Bernier added.

At dawn, the twin 69-metre towers swarmed with building specialists and architects.

"One of the extraordinary things about Notre Dame was estimated 13,000 trees had been felled to create this delicate timber infrastructure", he said.

Though "some weaknesses" in the 850-year-old structure had been identified, overall it is "holding up OK", he added.

"The task is - now the risk of fire has been put aside - about the building, how the structure will resist", said Junior Interior Minister Laurent Nunez in front of the cathedral.

Officials consider the fire to be an accident, possibly as a result of the restoration work at the cathedral.

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He said the investigation would likely be "long and complex".

Crowds of tourists and Parisians watched in horror as the roof of the cathedral came crashing down to the ground. The second alert was sounded at 1643 GMT (6:43 pm) and a blaze was discovered in the roofing at that point. Until the Eiffel Tower was unveiled for the 1889 World's Fair, Notre Dame was the tallest structure in the French capital.

"Obviously, Notre Dame de Paris is like an worldwide, iconic structure - 800-years-old - this building (the St. Boniface Cathedral) was 60-years-old".

LVMH called the cathedral a "symbol of France, its heritage and its unity".

Donations from worshippers and wealthy French billionaires and corporations have seen hundreds of millions of euros raised since the cathedral was engulfed by flames on Monday.

According to cathedral guides, the rooster had acted as "spiritual lightening rod" to protect the Notre Dame faithful.

The full extent of the damage has yet to be assessed, but the world-famous icon of Gothic architecture potentially faces many years of costly repairs to restore its roof and spire, which collapsed in dramatic fashion on Monday evening.

"Releasing even one load from a Canadair water bomber used to fight forest fires on Notre Dame would be "the equivalent of dropping three tonnes of concrete at 250 kilometres per hour (155mph)" on" the ancient monument. "Nobody knows if it is a functioning state or will need to be restored", Bertrand de Feydeau, vice president of preservation group Fondation du Patrimoine, told AP.

Shortly after an impassioned speech by President Emmanuel Macron, in which he said the full restoration for the cathedral would be "part of the French destiny", several of the country's wealthiest citizens opened their wallets to help foot the bill.

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