South Africa: Parliament building in Cape Town catches fire

Firemen spray water on flames erupting from the South Africa’s Parliament building [Jerome Delay/AP Photo]
A major fire erupted at the South African parliament building in Cape Town, with flames bursting from the roof of a building and a plume of smoke that could be seen from miles away, but authorities said after several hours that firefighters had the situation under control.

The fire started on the third-floor offices and spread to the National Assembly chamber, City of Cape Town Fire and Rescue Service spokesman Jermaine Carelse told local media.

No injuries have been reported in the fire, which was reported by security guards, Carelse said.

Several hours after the blaze started, thick smoke was still pouring from one of the several buildings that make up the parliament complex.

Later on Sunday, Minister of Public Works Patricia de Lille said it was the Old Assembly that caught fire.

She added that the flames had been mostly brought under control and that CCTV footage was being reviewed to determine what caused the incident.

News24 reported that 36 firefighters were initially sent to the scene and authorities later called for additional resources as they tried to contain the blaze.

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