Fire damages Beijing museum built for Olympics | world | Hindustan Times
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Fire damages Beijing museum built for Olympics

world Updated: Apr 07, 2009 12:27 IST

A new science museum in Beijing's Olympic park has been damaged by fire, a museum employee said on Tuesday, marking another embarrassment for the capital after an illegal fireworks display almost destroyed a skyscraper.

The blaze, which originated on the southeast corner of the Beijing Science and Technology Museum on Monday afternoon, partly damaged the building's outer shell, said a tour organizer at the museum who would only give her surname, Tian.

News photos released by the official Xinhua News Agency showed thick clouds of dark smoke pouring out of the shiny, cube-like structure situated about 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) south of the iconic Bird's Nest stadium inside the Olympic park.

No one was injured in the fire, which was put out within an hour, Tian said by telephone, adding that the cause of the fire was under investigation. Calls to the Beijing police department rang unanswered Tuesday morning.

A February blaze blamed on an illegal fireworks display killed one firefighter and badly damaged a luxury hotel and office building being built next to state broadcaster China Central Television's new landmark Z-shaped headquarters.

The complex, a prestige project designed by Dutch architects Rem Koolhaas and Ole Scheeren, helped transform the capital's skyline for last year's Olympics.