Fire damages 99-year-old varsity building in China

Monday, November 15, 2010

BEIJING - A fire broke out in a 99-year-old building at Tsinghua University that was built on the site of a former royal garden here.

Tsinghua University, located in the northwestern suburbs of Beijing, was established in 1911 on the site of “Qing Hua Yuan” - a former royal garden of the Qing dynasty.

The fire broke out early Sunday at “Tsinghua College” and was put out after two hours, China Daily reported Monday.

The college building’s front stonewall is intact but the ceiling has collapsed.

As firefighters battled the fire, students and alumni reached the spot on learning about it.

“It (the building) is a great symbol of the university’s architecture. My husband and I even had our wedding photos taken in front of it,” said a 27-year-old woman who, along with her husband, graduated from the university’s automation department in 2005.

“The news of the fire was shocking. We were planning to revisit the university during the coming centennial celebration,” she was quoted as saying.

Fang Hongrong, 32, drove two hours just to catch a glimpse of the building.

He said: “I was surfing the Internet when I read the news. I didn’t believe it till I reached here.”

Huang Weixi, a student, said: “Many old buildings in the university are under repair for the centennial celebrations.”

Filed under: Accidents and Disasters


Purnendu Dash
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