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Stunning video shows people singing hymn to honor Notre Dame as it burned

Fire tears through Notre Dame Cathedral
Fire burns through Paris' historic Notre Dame Cathedral 06:46

The Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris was engulfed in flames Monday as a massive fire devastated the landmark. Many gathered to see the blaze, but one group softly singing a hymn as the fire burned in the background captured the hearts of the internet.

The video was posted by Ignacio Gil, a correspondent for "El Mundo" in France, according to his Twitter page. The emotional footage shows a crowd of people singing in French, with some kneeling and holding what appear to be rosaries. The camera slowly pans to show more of the onlookers, until the fire burning the Gothic cathedral comes into view. Gil shared the image with the simple words "Ave Maria," the song's title. However, the lyrics also appear to match the catholic prayer "Je vous salue Marie," or "Hail Mary."

The clip quickly went viral, garnering over 8 million views and more than 92,000 retweets as of this writing. Many Twitter users were moved by the video, with one person commenting, "This is giving me chills. I can feel their pain but hear their love."

The cathedral, which was undergoing major renovations, suffered extensive damage. The fire caused the building's iconic spire and parts of the roof to collapse. However, Paris fire chief Jean-Claude Gallet told reporters he thinks firefighters were able to save the cathedral's landmark rectangular towers from the blaze.

French President Emmanuel Macron addressed the nation Monday night, calling the fire a "terrible tragedy." He also told his people the cathedral will be rebuilt. "Starting tomorrow, a national donation scheme will be started that will extend beyond our borders," Macron said.

Authorities said the cause of the fire was under investigation. No deaths were reported.

Notre Dame cathedral suffers extensive damage in massive blaze 03:16
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