Ancient Myanmar pagoda collapses, injures 30
An ancient pagoda collapsed close to Myanmar's main city of Yangon on 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.
"Many soldiers were injured as they were working on the pagoda construction," he said.
Military, navy, police, fire brigade and local Red Cross members were stationed at a nearby jetty to help ferry the wounded to hospital.
Yangon General Hospital confirmed 26 injured people had arrived from the pagoda for treatment, but did not elaborate on their injuries.
The tiered tower was recently the site of a religious ceremony led by the wife of Myanmar's top leader, Than Shwe.
Kyaing Kyaing led the May 7 ceremony, hoisting a diamond orb to the top of the pagoda, situated about 30 kilometres (19 miles) from western Yangon.
Danok Pagoda, famous in Myanmar because it is enshrined with two sacred Buddhist relics, was damaged during Cyclone Nargis in May last year and was recently undergoing reconstruction.
Myanmar, which has been ruled by the military since 1962, is a predominantly Buddhist country and many pagodas can be seen around the country.