Fire destroys ancient Tibetan town

A fire that burned in an ancient Tibetan tourist town in southwest China on Saturday destroyed hundreds of bulidings.

According to the Associated Press, the fire broke out at 1:27 a.m. in Dukezong, Shangri-La County and burned for nearly 10 hours, as fire engines were not able to get down the narrow streets.

Dukezong is an ancient Tibetan neighborhood with many wooden buildings on tiny, cobbled streets. It has 3,000 residents and is adjacent to the modern city of Shangri-La, The New York Times reports.

“After the fire broke out, even though many rushed to help at the first instant, the dry conditions and the speed of the blaze allowed it to spread rapidly in all directions,” said a report on the news website of the Yunnan government.

There were no injuries or deaths reported, but over 2,500 residents have been misplaced, 242 buildings were charred and priceless artifacts were lost in the blaze.

No word yet on the cause of the fire.

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