Photo Story: Fire at University of Cape Town

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Fire fighters battle a blaze that destroyed the nearly 200-year-old Jagger Library on the University of Cape Town (UCT) campus in Cape Town, South Africa.

A bushfire on the slopes of the world heritage site Table Mountain National Park raged out of control in strong winds and caused extensive damage to the University of Cape Town and many buildings around the nearly 200-year-old University founded in 1829.

All students were evacuated from campus and several fire fighters were injured battling the blaze on the slopes of Table Mountain.

A fire fighter battles a blaze that destroyed the nearly 200-year-old Jagger Library on the University of Cape Town (UCT) campus in Cape Town, South Africa.

South African emergency workers have started evacuating three 17-storey residential buildings overlooking Cape Town city as a wildfire fanned by strong winds continues to burn out of control along Table Mountain, city officials said on Monday.

The fire started early Sunday morning on the slopes of Devils’ Peak, another part of Cape Town’s mountainous backdrop, forcing University of Cape Town students to evacuate residences as runaway flames set several campus buildings ablaze, including a library housing historic books and scripts.

Around 250 firefighters are battling to control the blaze, as strong winds ground helicopters normally used in firebombing sorties. A thick plume of smoke is obscuring visibility throughout the city centre.

Other properties damaged includes the popular hikers’ restaurant at Rhodes memorial and the thatch-roofed Mostert Mill, built around 1796 and South Africa’s oldest working mill.

Via Reuters/EPA-EFE/NIC BOTHMA

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