Disasters & Accidents

Cape Town firefighters battle Table Mountain blaze

Johannesburg, Apr 19 (EFE).- More than 250 firefighters are battling a wildfire that raging on the slopes of Table Mountain, which overlooks the city of Cape Town in South Africa.

The fire emerged on Sunday and has destroyed or damaged several historic buildings in the area, including facilities of the University of Cape Town. Students were evacuated from the university.

“The fire that initially started in the vicinity of Rhodes Memorial just under 24 hours ago continues to rage and has spread in the direction of Vredehoek,” a statement from Cape Town City Hall read.

“All efforts remain focused on active firefighting for the moment, although the fire is hard to reach in places and we hope that aerial firefighting support can be deployed to douse the flames before it reaches the urban edge.

“For the moment, there are some precautionary evacuations taking place in Vredehoek, but no other evacuations were necessary overnight.”

Authorities said two firefighters had been injured by the blaze but reported no civilian casualties.

City Hall added: “There is a lot of speculation currently about additional fires that were started, and whether the original fire was an act of arson.

“This will form part of investigations, but the City can confirm that one suspect in his thirties was taken into custody last night in the vicinity of Devil’s Peak.

“He was spotted by a resident, who tracked him down with the help of his sons and the family’s dogs.”

The historic Jagger library at the University of Cape Town, which was founded in 1829 and is one of the African continent’s most important centers of learning, was partially destroyed by the fire. EFE

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