The tallest pagoda in Asia has been totally destroyed by a fire
A building that was believed to be the tallest pagoda in Asia has been destroyed in a devastating fire.
The 15-storey wooden structure in Sichuan province in China collapsed because of the blaze.
The fire also destroyed two halls within the temple complex. No injuries were reported.
In 2008, the pagoda was damaged in an earthquake, and a restructuring process was in place when the fire struck.
The original structure dates from the 16th century.
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Witnesses said the fire began in one of the temple halls then spread to the other two buildings.
‘The fire started at the Great Buddha Hall and spread to the Jade Emperor Hall,’ said Yu Guixiang.
‘Then the wind was blowing and the pagoda was also on fire.’
Firefighters tackled the blaze for four hours before it was under control.
An investigation into the cause of the fire has been launched.
After the fire, all that was left of the pagoda was charred wood and rubble.
The Buddhist holy site is known as Lingguan Mansion and is in Mianzhu City.
In one image posted on social media, a Buddhist monk kneeled in prayer as he watched the pagoda burn.
The tower had been restored after suffering extensive damage in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, but much of the complex was still under construction at the time of the fire.