Fire crews are battling to save a world-famous art school building in Scotland after a major blaze engulfed the structure.

The fire at Glasgow School of Art's (GSA) Charles Rennie Mackintosh building was reported at about 12.30pm.

Witnesses said flames could be seen spreading across the roof while massive plumes of smoke filled the surrounding sky.

Large crowds of students and onlookers gathered near the scene as multiple fire crews tackled the flames.

Several people were in tears as they watched the events unfold.

The fire started during a busy time as students worked to complete their end-of-year assessments.

The art school said that the building was evacuated and that everybody was safe. But the blaze was declared a "major incident" in a Twitter posting from the institution.

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond said on Twitter: "Thoughts with staff & students at @GSofA - awful to see destruction of this iconic building and students work."