The Wan’an bridge, China’s longest wood arch bridge, was destroyed by huge fire, local media reported on Sunday.
The 900-year old bridge was built during the Song dynasty era (960–1127 CE) in Pingnan County, Fujian Province. It’s body collapsed during the first 20 minutes of the fire, an expert told Global Times.
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The blaze did not cause any casualties, according to Global Times. Meannwhiel, the Pingnan County Public Security Bureau’s Criminal Investigation Department has been brought in to conduct an additional inquiry on the case.
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Its unique wooden structure made it even more susceptible to damage by the fire, even though the open fires of the bridge were put out in about 10 hours.
The Wan’an bridge, also referred to as the Bridge of Universal Peace, was measuring 98.2 metres in length. In 2006, China included the bridge on its list of priceless cultural artefacts.
According to UNESCO, Fujian’s wooden arch bridges have long served as “significant gathering places for local residents to exchange information, amuse themselves, engage in worship, and strengthen relationships and cultural identity.”
The Asian country is still making efforts to preserve its traditional methods for building bridges and maintaining already-existing structures.