No human fault at sacred temple fire
A preliminary investigation has ruled out any human factors in the fire that broke out in Jokhang Temple in Lhasa, capital of southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region.
The local government said there were no casualties and the life-sized statue of the Sakyamuni Buddha when he was 12 years old was intact.
The fire broke out on the second floor of the rear part of the sacred monastery at 6:40pm on Saturday and was soon put out. An area of about 50 square meters was burned.
The temple’s golden top has been removed in case of collapse or reburning.
The regional cultural relics bureau said all the registered 6,510 cultural relics and the main building were intact.
The fire broke out in the ventilation chamber, which was built in late 1980s. No cultural relics were stored inside the chamber. The temple opened to the public as usual one day after the fire.
The local government has ordered a citywide inspection to eliminate fire hazards in major temples in Lhasa.
Jokhang Temple is renowned in Tibetan Buddhism. It has a history of more than 1,300 years.
The temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is located at the heart of old Lhasa.
It is one of Tibetan Buddhism’s most sacred sites and is home to numerous priceless cultural artifacts, including over 3,000 images of Buddhas, deities and historical figures as well as treasures and manuscripts, according to UNESCO.