Johannesburg, Jan 2 (EFE).- A fire has broken out at South Africa’s parliament building in Cape Town, local authorities confirmed Sunday.
Firefighters have been battling the flames at the building complex housing the Old Assembly Chamber and the National Council of Provinces, according to minister of public works and infrastructure Patricia de Lille.
“The fire is in the National Assembly Chambers. That is where it is burning right now. We have been able to contain the fire in the Chambers of the National Council of Provinces,” she added.
The cause of the fire remained unknown but authorities currently are reviewing footage recorded by security cameras, Lille explained.
Jean-Pierre Smith, a member of Cape Town’s mayoral committee responsible for safety and security, said that the fire was on the third floor, noting it initially broke out in the office space and spread toward a gym.
Emergency crews were notified of the blaze at around 5.00 am (03.00 GMT), said Jermaine Carelse, spokesperson for Cape Town’s Fire and Rescue Service, according to local media.
“The bitumen on the roof is even melting, an indication of the intense heat. There have been reports of some walls showing cracks, which could indicate a collapse,” Carelse warned.
A huge plume of smoke was looming over the building, as seen in photos shared by South Africans on social media.
In April, Cape Town’s Table Mountain, one of the country’s most iconic landmarks, caught fire that later spread to the University of Cape Town (UCT) campus and destroyed its historical Jagger Library. Thousands of valuable ancient books and manuscripts about the African continent were burned.EFE