Myanmar Pagoda collapses


An ancient structure at the southern border of the capital Yangon, the Danok Pagoda, collapsed on Saturday injuring at least 30 with an unaccounted number of people under the rubble. The pagoda was said to be undergoing recent reconstruction; however Myanmar’s reconstruction works have been notoriously questionable from a heritage conservation point of view, and now it seems from an architectural point of view as well. Given the tightly controlled media of the military junta, it is unlikely that we hear any more information from this tragedy.

Ancient Myanmar pagoda collapses, injures 30
AFP, via Channel NewsAsia, 30 May 2009

An ancient pagoda collapsed close to Myanmar’s main city of Yangon Saturday injuring more than 30 people, most of whom were soldiers working on reconstruction of the site, police told AFP.

A police officer said it was not known why the Danok pagoda in Dalla township, sat across a river from Yangon, had fallen suddenly in the afternoon, but the collapse came after two days of heavy rains.

“The volunteers are trying to help those still trapped underneath the collapsed pagoda. So far more than 30 people are injured,” the officer told AFP.

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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