Durban, MINA – A large fire broke out at a 139-year-old Gray Street Mosque in the business center of the southeastern port city of Durban, South Africa om Monday, August 24.
The cause of the fire was not immediately known and no casualties were reported. Al Jazeera reported.
Faisal Suliman, chairman of the South African Muslim Network, said the fire started in one of the seven staff rooms located on the second floor, and may have been caused by a power failure.
Videos posted on Twitter showed a crowd gathering as the flames started raging on the second floor.
Some people expressed grief on social media about the fire at the historic building, which can accommodate up to 7,000 worshipers.
Firefighters managed to get the fire under control in about two hours.
Emergency services spokesman Robert Mckenzie said the fire also damaged three adjacent buildings.
The mosque is a central landmark of Durban and a well-attended house of worship.
Apart from being used for Friday prayers and various studies, the mosque has also been visited by prominent figures, such as anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela, British singer Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens) and the legendary boxer Muhammad Ali. (T/RE1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA