2008-07-22 12:58:53 GMT 2008-07-22 20:58:53 (Beijing Time) Xinhua English
CHENGDU, July 22 (Xinhua) -- A temple collapse triggered by an explosion of stored black powder was blamed for killing two monks and injuring four others, an official with southwest China's Sichuan Province said on Tuesday.
The collapse occurred at 12:30 p.m. on July 12 at Gonchen Monastery in Derge county of the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Garze, said Zhao Ying, vice director of the provincial information office, at a news conference here.
Investigations show the wooden temple was used to store cultural relics. Six monks were eating in the building when the explosion happened.
A short circuit in a worn-out electrical wire produced sparks, which ignited black powder that was stored there. The explosion caused the collapse of the structure, said Wang Jian, the prefecture public security bureau vice director.
It was also disclosed that the temple had broken safety rules in storing 716 kg of black powder. This was used periodically in Buddhist rituals.
The two monks were buried on July 16. The temple administration committee agreed with the probe's conclusion.
Following the blast, the temple transferred its remaining black powder and 29 guns used for Buddhist rituals to the county explosive warehouse and public security authorities.