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Last Updated: Friday, 25 August 2006, 19:49 GMT 20:49 UK
In pictures: Russia cathedral fire

Fire in dome of The Trinity Cathedral

A fire has ripped through The Trinity Cathedral in St Petersburg, Russia, an 18th Century church famed for its 80-metre-high central dome made of wood.

Mother carrying child near burning church

The blaze reportedly began after a spark from a welder's lamp caused gas cylinders to explode.

People carrying icon under burning dome

Firefighters and volunteers raced to rescue icons and paintings hanging in the cathedral.

People carrying icons out of church door

Everything that could be removed was grabbed and carried from the building.

People putting down icons rescued from cathedral

The precious paintings were carried across the street to safety.

Debris on street near burning cathedral

Debris from the burning dome rained down on the surrounding area.

Woman with coat over head walking past cathedral

People took shelter as best they could.

Trinity cathedral before fire

The central dome and one of the surrounding four cupolas, which can be seen in this file photo, have collapsed, according to fire officials.

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