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600-year-old tower destroyed in SW China fire

Updated: Jan 4,2015 2:06 PM     Xinhua

KUNMING — The Gongchen Tower, an ancient city gate tower with a history of more than 600 years, was destroyed in a fire in southwest China’s Yunnan province on Jan 3, local authorities said.

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

No casualties were reported in the fire but the tower, built in 1390 during China’s Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), 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 history is gone,” he lamented.