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Two monks burnt, Buddhist temple damaged by fire in southwest China's Sichuan

Xinhua News, April 10, 2008

GARZE, Sichuan Province (China) -- Two monks were burnt and a hall was destroyed after a short circuit started a fire at a lamasery in the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Garze, in southwest China's Sichuan Province.

Two monks from the Cokai Lamasery in Xinlong County both suffered slight burns when fighting the fire and they were treated at the county hospital, said Dainzin Oinxia, director of the temple's administrative office.

The fire broke out at around 5 a.m. on Thursday. About 400 rescuers spent more than an hour putting out the blaze. Most of the temple's buildings survived. However, the main hall of the lamasery, covering about 500 square meters, burnt down in the fire.

"If the villagers and the fire control department had not arrived in time, the fire would have spread to our dormitory," said Dainzin.

Investigation showed the fire was caused by a short-circuited wire in the main hall, according to the county's fire control department.

The Cakai Lamasery, which belongs to the Kargyu school or White Sect of Tibetan Buddhism, is at the Denba Village, about 41 kilometers away from the county seat of Xinlong. It is home to 128 lamas.

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