Monday, February 07, 2011

Fire destroys 1,000 year old temple in Fuzhou

A fire has virtually destroyed a 1,000 year old Buddhist temple in Fuzhou, the capital of east China's Fujian Province. Twenty one fire engines and 147 firefighters were dispatched to the scene at 03:12 early Monday and the fire was extinguished at 04:11, reports said.

Authorities say the fire engulfed the grand hall and one of the wooden chambers of the Fahai Temple in downtown Fuzhou, though they have yet to fully assess the damage caused. No one was injured in the fire.

The temple dates back to the Jin Dynasty [c. 945 AD] though parts of the temple were constructed during the Xiangfu Song period [c. 1008-1016 AD].

Although the cause of the fire has yet to be established, many Chinese Internet users have speculated it was as a result of fireworks. "Fireworks should be banned in downtown areas," many comments read on web forums. The debate over whether festive fireworks should be allowed has continued for at least two decades in China. Many large cities, including Beijing, banned fireworks in the mid 1990s, but later lifted restrictions after complaints from citizens who claimed fireworks were an "inalienable part of Chinese culture." [reports: CNTV /]

tvnewswatch, Beijing, China

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