Nile River
Ahmad Salah
A large fire erupted Tuesday in Egypt's parliament, and five people were hospitalized for smoke inhalation, officials said. There was no official word on the cause of the blaze, which ravaged a 19th century palace where parliament's upper house is located. Dozens of fire trucks were at the scene. While firefighters focused on one corner of the building, the blaze burned heavier on the second corner, spreading to the second floor. Two helicopters scooped water from the nearby Nile River in small buckets and dumped it onto the blaze. Evacuated employees said authorities told them they had ruled out terrorism, and that an electrical short-circuit had likely sparked the fire. Those hospitalized included parliament employees and firefighters, said Ahmad Salah, the fire operations supervisor. The extent of damage was not immediately known. Egypt requires some fire-safety measures in buildings, including fire extinguishers, but in general the rules are not strictly enforced.