Sunday, January 16

Fire at the National Assembly in South Africa

THE SMOKE RISES: The Cape Town National Assembly burns on Sunday morning. In the background is the iconic Table Mountain.

Firefighters battled the blaze in the old part of the National Assembly of South Africa, located in Cape Town. The fire must be under control.


The fire is mostly under control, said Patricia de Lille, Minister of Infrastructure and former mayor of Cape Town, according to News24.

Photos from the site showed flames on the roof of the building and smoke rising Sunday morning.

Cracks in the facade have been confirmed, says JP Smith, who is a representative in the National Assembly, according to Times Live.

Cracks in the facade could be an indication that the building could collapse, according to spokeswoman for the Cape Town Fire Department, Jermaine Carelse.

– Even the asphalt on the roof melts, an indication of the intense heat, he says according to News24.

FIRE ON THE ROOF: Fire constables fight against the flames.

De Lille says it was the old part of the National Assembly that burned, and that it had not spread to the building where the elected representatives sit today.

The area consists of three sections. The oldest and original part was completed in 1884. The newer buildings that were built in the 1920s and 1980s, house the National Assembly today.

There were at least 36 firefighters and six fire trucks on site. More resources were called. Several streets around the building were temporarily closed.

The fire is said to have started in an office landscape on the 3rd floor, according to preliminary reports.

The first reports of the fire came at 5 o’clock local time, or at 4 o’clock Norwegian time.

The parliament building is located near the Anglican Cathedral where Archbishop and Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu was buried on Saturday.

In April last year, a forest fire spread to the University of Cape Town. Among other things, it affected the 200-year-old library.

Several fire engines are present at the National Assembly in Cape Town.

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