South African authorities announced on Tuesday (4) that they managed to contain an alleged arson fire in a Parliament building in the country. The flames were contained after a resumption of fire, which completely destroyed the National Assembly, known as the Lower House of Congress.
A 49-year-old man was brought to court on charges of five counts, including arson and possession of an explosive device. Attorney Zandile Christmas Mafe, who represents the suspect, said he denies the charges and will plead not guilty.
The National Assembly, in the New Wing of the Parliament complex, was “completely destroyed, from the ground to the top,” Cape Town Fire Chief Ian Schnetler told reporters. “It will take a major restoration to get back to what it was,” the official said.
In a statement, city officials said the fire was contained at midnight local time.
“Teams are now working through the building, designed like a maze, room after room, as they try to locate and extinguish fires,” the note points out.
“This is a time-consuming process, while some rooms need to have their wood cladding removed to identify hidden sources of heat.”
The fire started on Sunday (2). On Monday, authorities had removed some of the fire trucks and said they were extinguishing the embers, but the flames started again, causing more extensive damage to the New Wing.
Reference: CNN Brasil