A major fire has engulfed the South African parliament building in Cape Town

A major fire has engulfed the South African parliament building in Cape Town
Image shows black smoke coming from the roof of the building in Cape Town/courtesy

In the South African city of Cape Town, a large fire has engulfed the House of Parliament.

A plume of black smoke fills the sky, with huge flames erupting from the building’s roof, according to video footage.

Hundreds of firefighters are battling the blaze, which has yet to be determined as to what caused it.

It comes just hours after Archbishop Desmond Tutu was laid to rest at St George’s Cathedral, close to parliament.

City officials released photos of the effort to put out the fire

According to the BBC’s Nomsa Maseko in Cape Town, the fire started on the third floor offices and quickly spread to the National Assembly (the parliament’s lower house) chamber.

Our correspondent adds that no injuries have been reported, and there is no indication of what may have sparked the incident.

Because of the carpets and wooden floors in the building, fire and rescue officials estimate it will take another four hours to completely extinguish the fire.

The fire in the Chamber of the Council of Provinces (the upper house) had been put out, but the National Assembly was still burning, according to Patricia de Lille, the minister in charge of government infrastructure.

JP Smith, a member of the Cape Town mayoral committee for safety and security, told reporters that the roof had partially collapsed and that the fire alarm had not sounded when the fire started:

According to the officers, the building’s roof has collapsed on one side, and the fire has spread to the new assembly.

Large cracks in the wall have been discovered, which is cause for concern.

“According to the firefighters, they had been on the scene for some time before the fire detection system triggered and then sounded the alarm. As a result, it appears that the system was a little behind schedule.”

Because of the holidays, the parliament is currently not in session.

The Houses of Parliament in Cape Town are divided into three sections, the first of which was built in 1884. The National Assembly is housed in the newer sections, which were built in the 1920s and 1980s.

A fire ravaged a section of the University of Cape Town’s library last year, destroying a rare collection of African archives.

The smoke from the blaze could be seen from several miles away

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