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16-storey wooden pagoda in Sichuan destroyed by fire

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A 16-storey Buddhist pagoda in southwestern China was destroyed by a massive fire, reported Channel News Asia (Singapore).

The wooden pagoda - reportedly the tallest in Asia - along with a prayer hall were seen engulfed in flames on videos circulating around social media.

Citing the local government's statement on Weibo, South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported that the fire at Lingguan Tower in Sichuan province started at 12.40pm.

According to local news outlet People's Daily Online, the fire started from the main hall of the Nine Dragons Monastery.

Because of high winds, the blaze was then quickly pushed towards the pagoda as well as the Hall of Arhan.

The buildings affected by the fire occupied an area of more than 800 sq m, reported People's Daily Online.
The fire was put out four hours later at around 4.30pm.

The pagoda had been undergoing renovations since 2010, after the original structure dating back to the 16th century was destroyed during a major earthquake in May 2008, CCTV reported.

There were no casualties and local police are investigating the cause, according to CCTV.

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