Smoke billows from Rouen Cathedral after spire catches fire

The spire of a gothic cathedral in the French city of Rouen, Normandy, caught fire on Thursday 11 July.

Footage broadcast on BFMTV showed a dark plume of smoke rising from the spire and people in the streets below looking up in horror.

The cathedral, one of France’s finest, was painted several times by impressionist artist Claude Monet in the 19th century.

A state official confirmed the cathedral had been evacuated and emergency services were on the scene.

The scene in Rouen was reminiscent of the devastating fire at Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris in 2019.