Publicado: 19/04/2021

Cape Town fire guts library, moves closer to city

Cape Town fire guts library, moves closer to city

Cape Town (AFP) -

A fire in Cape Town has ravaged part of a university library housing a unique collection of African archives, its director said, as the blaze advanced Monday towards the city centre.

The fire, which broke out Sunday in the foothills of the landmark Table Mountain before spreading to the University of Cape Town (UCT), forced hundreds of students to flee on foot.

The African studies section of the 1930s building and its parquet-floored reading room were 'completely gutted', the head of UCT Libraries Ujala Satgoor said in a Facebook post on Sunday.

'Some of our valuable collections have been lost,' she wrote, adding that fire shutters had protected other parts of the building.

Photos accompanying the post showed flames and smoke billowing from the roof and windows of the column-lined building, which has been closed until further notice.

A full assessment of the damage will be carried out once the building is safe to enter, Satgoor said.

Thick smoke hovered over a deserted UCT campus on Monday, blocked off to students and staff.

One student, 20-year-old Kosmas Joannou, had walked over from a nearby residence hall to gauge the situation.

'It was just horrible,' Joannou told AFP.

The sky 'was orange, there was ash everywhere and everyone was screaming. It was chaos.'

Joannou, a student in business studies, added: 'All the history that was lost in the library, that destroys me.'

Hundreds of students housed closer to the blaze have been moved to temporary accommodation, with donors sending food and other essentials.

Firefighters were still battling the blaze on Monday as high winds pushed the fire west, closer to the city centre.

'The fire is not yet under control,' Cape Town fire spokeswoman Jermaine Carelse said in a statement.

'The wind is a major contributing factor,' she added, noting that the wind was also preventing aerial firefighting.

Schools in the suburb of Vredehoek, around three kilometres (two miles) away from UCT, have been asked to evacuate.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, with one suspect taken into custody overnight, city official Alderman JP Smith said.

The blaze has already destroyed the Cecil Rhodes Memorial Restaurant, private homes and historical structures such as the Mostert's Hill windmill.

No casualties have been reported so far apart from a few firefighters who have been injured.


Más en Zeta

Perdió a los diputados

Perdió a los diputados

29 April 2021
En Cambio Democrático, la lucha de poder toma color y forma. Rómulo Roux muestra músculo y Yanibel Ábrego tiene el control de los diputados de Cambio Democrático y los leales a Ricardo Martinelli que no se van al partido RM para que no es apliquen la revocatoria de mandato. El partido de TotoPAI...

Prohibir las armas de asalto en EE.UU.

ZETA, (AMY GOODMAN-DENIS MOYNIHAN).- Las masacres ocurridas recientemente en la ciudad de Boulder, en Colorado, y en el área metropolitana de la ciudad de Atlanta, en Georgia, con un saldo de diez y ocho muertos, respectivamente, son solo dos casos más de la violencia sin sentido con armas de fue...

La justicia no tiene espacios para más desatinos

ZETA, (JEAN PIERRE LEIGNADIER*).-Las próximas dos semanas, este espacio abordará dos deficiencias estructurales que la Cámara de Comercio, Industrias y Agricultura de Panamá (CCIAP) ha planteado por más de dos quinquenios e insistimos deben ser atendidas de manera urgente para enrumbar nuestro de...

Libertad económica y libre empresa

ZETA, (JEAN PIERRE LEIGNADIER*).- Desde su fundación hace 105 años, la Cámara de Comercio, Industrias y Agricultura de Panamá ha tenido como unos de sus pilares la defensa de la libertad económica y la libre empresa como factores indispensables para el progreso sostenido y sostenible del país. E...

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.