South African Parliament building in Cape Town caught fire on Sunday morning Photograph:( AFP )
The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained, but several media reports indicated that the blaze started in the office space on the third floor and spread toward the gymnasium
A major fire broke out at South African Parliament building in Cape Town on Sunday morning.
Video footage showed thick black smoke billowing out of the roof of the building, filling the sky.
The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained, but several media reports indicated that the blaze started in the office space on the third floor and spread toward the gymnasium. An alarm was later raised at 5 am (South African Standard Time).
According to local media outlet News24, 36 firefighters were deployed and authorities have called for additional resources as they try to contain the blaze.
The blaze comes hours after Archbishop Desmond Tutu's state funeral at St George's Cathedral, near Parliament, which was held on Saturday.
In Cape Town South Africa Parliament Building on Fire. pic.twitter.com/4vre9QgL2g— Sophie Mokoena (@Sophie_Mokoena) January 2, 2022
"The roof has caught fire and the National Assembly building is also on fire," a spokesman for the city's emergency services told AFP, requesting reinforcements at the scene.
"The fire is not under control and cracks in the walls of the building have been reported," he added.
The Houses of Parliament in Cape Town consist of three sections, including the original and oldest building that was completed in 1884.
The newer additions -- constructed in the 1920s and 1980s -- house the National Assembly.
In April last year, a fire ravaged part of The University of Cape Town's library housing a unique collection of African archives.
(With inputs from agencies)