A massive blaze ripped through South Africa’s House of Parliament in Cape Town on Sunday, sending plumes of smoke into the air that were visible from miles away.
Cape Town Fire and Rescue confirmed to Cape Town Etc. that the fire was at the parliament building and that firefighters were responding to the scene.
The cause of the fire is yet to be determined, officials said
“The roof has caught fire and the National Assembly building is also on fire,” a spokesman for the city’s emergency services told the AFP news agency.
“The fire is not under control and cracks in the walls of the building have been reported,” he added.
It was not clear if anyone has been injured.
Social media users posted videos of the billowing clouds of black smoke that could be seen from as far away as Table Mountain, a prominent landmark overlooking Cape Town, which serves as South Africa’s administrative capital.
Other photos and videos closer to the scene show the roof of the parliament building engulfed in flames. The building’s original structure was built in 1884, with additions completed in the 1920s and 1980s. It houses South Africa’s upper and lower parliamentary bodies.
The fire broke out just hours after Archbishop Desmond Tutu was laid to rest at St. George’s Cathedral, just around the corner from the House of Parliament.