Pagoda, prayer hall at Buddhist temple in China’s Sichuan province destroyed by fire
Mystery blaze broke out after lunch and took four hours to extinguish, local authorities say
A wooden pagoda and a prayer hall at a Buddhist temple in southwestern China burnt to the ground on Sunday in a mystery blaze.
The fire at the Lingguan Mansion complex in Mianzhu, Sichuan province, started at about 12.40pm, the local government said in a statement on Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter.
The flames were extinguished about four hours later, by which time the structure had been completely destroyed. There were no reports of any casualties, the statement said.
In videos posted online, the temple’s 16-storey pagoda can be seen engulfed in bright flames and black smoke.
Photographs published by local newspaper Chengdu Commercial Daily showed that by the time the fire was put out, the pagoda was nothing more than a pile of charred wood. A two-storey prayer hall was also destroyed in the blaze.
The original Lingguan Mansion, built during the Ming dynasty (1368–1644), was destroyed in the magnitude 8 earthquake that rocked Sichuan in 2008, the newspaper report said.
It was later restored but the temple complex was still under construction when Sunday’s fire broke out.
The cause of the blaze was as yet unknown and an investigation was under way, the government said.