Fire damages 300-year-old pagoda in Vietnam

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 A man walks by Hoi Son Pagoda, a national relic in Ho Chi Minh City, Wednesday after a part of it was damaged by a fire the previous night

A 300-year-old Buddhist pagoda, a national relic, in Ho Chi Minh City was damaged in a fire Tuesday night, with its main hall being burned down.

Monks and nuns at Hoi Son Pagoda in District 9 said the fire started in the hall at 10:20 p.m. and it took firefighters around three hours to put it out.

Many pillars and statues and an altar table made of valuable wood were destroyed along with many books.

The 18,000-square-meter pagoda was designated a national sculptural relic in 1993 and later a national historical and cultural relic.

Investigations have begun into the cause of the fire.

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