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China’s 900-year-old wooden bridge collapses in fire

The Wan'an bridge was built over 900 years ago in the Song Dynasty. The bridge was damaged by a fire in 1708 and rebuilt in 1742, with repairing works coming over the years

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Beijing: China’s longest wooden arch bridge, which was almost a thousand years old, collapsed as a result of a fire in the eastern Chinese province of Fujian, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Sunday.

Fire engulfed the Wan’an bridge in the Pingnan county on Saturday night and was put out at 10:45 p.m. local time (14:45 GMT). The bridge burned to the ground and collapsed, according to the report.

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The Wan’an bridge was built over 900 years ago in the Song Dynasty. The bridge was damaged by a fire in 1708 and rebuilt in 1742, with repairing works coming over the years. In 1991, the bridge became a Major Historical and Cultural Site Protected at the Regional Level and has been protected at the national level since 2006.

According to Chinese tabloid Global Times, the 98.2 meters (321 feet) long bridge was the longest wood arch bridge in China. The media cited an expert on ancient architecture from Peking University as saying that human factor was a probable cause of the fire.

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