London's Big Ben fails to bong as clock briefly stops

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Coronation of Britain's King Charles and Queen Camilla

LONDON (Reuters) - London's famous Big Ben bell failed to chime on Wednesday when the dials of the Great Clock at Britain's Houses of Parliament briefly stopped working.

The four clock dials, one on each side of the 96-metre-tall Elizabeth Tower which houses Big Ben and four other bells, stopped at 12:55 p.m. (1155 GMT), leaving the bells silent at 1 p.m.

Half an hour later, the clock hands were moved forward but the clock was still running about five minutes late, according to Reuters witnesses. By 1:47 p.m., the hands were moved forward again to show the right time.

"We are aware that the clock dials on the Elizabeth Tower were temporarily displaying the incorrect time on Wednesday afternoon," a spokesperson for parliament's lower house, the House of Commons, said.

"Clock mechanics worked quickly to rectify the issue and the clock is now functioning as normal."

The 13-tonne Big Ben bell was largely silenced for five years while a major restoration of the Elizabeth Tower took place, with the so-called 'bongs' finally resuming regular service in November 2022.

(Reporting by Alistair Smout, Editing by Kylie MacLellan)