Fire breaks out in the Knesset during climate crisis debate
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Fire breaks out in the Knesset during climate crisis debate

Participants in Internal Affairs and Environment Committee meeting clear area after chair MK Haimovich notes strong smell of smoke

Knesset Internal Affairs and Environment Committee members evacuate a meeting on climate change after smelling smoke in the room and identifying a fire in the ceiling, September 8, 2020. (Screenshot/Knesset channel.
Knesset Internal Affairs and Environment Committee members evacuate a meeting on climate change after smelling smoke in the room and identifying a fire in the ceiling, September 8, 2020. (Screenshot/Knesset channel.

A debate in the Knesset’s Internal Affairs and Environment Committee ended abruptly Tuesday afternoon when a fire broke out in the room’s ceiling due to a faulty circuit. No injuries were reported.

While convening over the global climate crisis, committee chairperson MK Miki Haimovich noted a strong smell of smoke and inquired of its origin.

When the fire was detected in the room’s ceiling, Haimovich interrupted former Hadash MK Dov Khenin, who was participating in the debate via Zoom, alerted him and the other committee participants about the fire and ended the meeting.

The committee participants and the committee in the adjacent room were immediately removed from the area.

“[Due to] a short circuit in the ceiling of the Internal Affairs and Environment Committee’s room, the committee’s meeting has been suspended,” the Knesset spokesperson said in a statement.

“The fire extinguishing systems of the committee room were activated automatically and the Knesset security team also worked to cut off the electricity in the committee [room],” it added. “With the exception of the Internal Affairs and Environment Committee, all the Knesset committees will continue [activities] as usual. The Knesset will continue to investigate the matter.”

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