On Sunday, a massive fire blast took place at South Africa’s Parliament complex, destroying offices and causing the same of the building’s ceilings to collapse.
As firefighters calmed the fire, a heavy cloud of smoke and flames surged high into the air above Cape Town, South Africa.
Cape Town’s Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson Jermaine Carelse said around 70 firefighters were still combating the fire more than seven hours after it started early in the morning.
A crane hoisted some of them into the air to pour water on the fire from above.
There were no reported casualties, and Parliament was closed due to the holidays.
During a visit to the scene, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said that a person was “being held and is being asked” by police in connection with the fire.
“The fire is present in the National Assembly chambers,” said Patricia de Lille, Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, as smoke billowed from the roof of the historic white building with magnificent entrance columns behind her.
“Today is a terrible day for democracy, for Parliament is our democracy’s home.”
“In the National Assembly, we have not been able to put out the fire,” she added. “A section of the ceiling has given way.”
AT least one level of the parliamentary office building was “gutted.”
According to J.P. Smith, the Cape Town official in charge of safety and security.
He said the firefighters were now concentrating on preserving the National Assembly building, which houses South Africa’s Parliament.
Buildings were at risk of collapse, and historical artefacts within were likely to be damaged or destroyed, according to Carelse.
There have been reports that some walls have cracks in them.
The original parliament building was completed in 1800 and built two other parts in the 20th century.
According to de Lille, first contained the fire in the old building of Parliament, which is located behind the National Assembly. However, fireworks “had the situation under control” during the briefing, but the fire quickly spread to the present parliament building.
De Lille said it was too quick to understand the situation, and investigation is under process,” We are inspecting the camera footage.”
Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, South Africa’s parliament speaker, warned against speculation that the attack was planned.
Many South Africa top politicians were in cape town at the funeral of retired Archibishop Desmond Tutu, which took place on Saturday.