600-year-old Ming Dynasty tower destroyed in China fire

Published: January 3, 2015
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The Ming Dynasty tower after a fire ravaged it. PHOTO: COURTESY XINHUA

The Ming Dynasty tower after a fire ravaged it. PHOTO: COURTESY XINHUA

KUNMING: A Ming Dynasty city gate tower, the Gongchen Tower, dating back 600 years, was destroyed in a fire in southwest China’s Yunnan Province on Saturday, Chinese news service Xinhua reported.

The fire broke out in Nanzhao Township, Weishan County, at 2:49 am and was put out two hours later, local authorities said.

No casualties were reported in the fire but the tower, built in 1390 during China’s Ming Dynasty, was burnt down with few scorched wooden structures left.

The tower, 26 meters long, 15.7 meters wide and 16 meter high, is listed as a key cultural protection site in Yunnan Province.

“I want to cry,” said a local resident. “Hundreds of years of history is gone,” he lamented.

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