July 11, 2020

An electrical failure could have caused the fire of the Japanese Shuri castle

An electrical failure seems to have been the cause of the fire that last week reduced the Shuri castle of Okinawa to ashes, a symbol of the Japanese region declared a world heritage site, according to the investigations of the ongoing investigation.

The fire department of the city of Naha, where the castle is located, has found evidence of a short circuit in the wiring on the left rear of the main pavilion and is investigating its connection to the fire, which apparently extended from there, according to they revealed to the news agency Kyodo.

A surveillance camera caught a flash of light shortly before and after the fire was declared around 2:40 local time last Thursday (5:40 p.m. GMT on Wednesday), and a week later these first details of the investigation.

The castle was hosting a festival that recreates ritual scenes of the ancient kingdom under which it was built and the staff was still immersed in the preparations the night of the fire, although according to the testimony of the workers the electricity supply they used was taken from Another point of the citadel.

No security camera or thermosensitive sensor of the main building detected the entry of people from about five and a half hours before the flames were declared, so firefighters and police consider it unlikely that the fire was caused and handle the electrical failure as the most common cause. probable.

The flames were burning for about 11 hours and consumed seven wooden buildings of the castle, affecting an area of ​​more than 4,000 square meters, but fortunately the original foundations of the citadel seem to be safe. The structures that burned were a reconstruction of the 90s of the 20th century.

The Government held on Wednesday its first meeting of relevant ministers for the restoration of the castle, whose cost is expected to exceed 7,000 million yen (58 million euros or 64 million dollars), invested in its first reconstruction.

Shuri Castle was originally built in the late fourteenth century, is an important tourist destination in the region and was declared a national treasure in 1933.

The palace was destroyed in World War II, during the Battle of Okinawa in 1945, but in 1992 the central pavilion was rebuilt and, after this, the rest of the premises of the enclosure, which was reopened as a national park.

In the year 2000, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared it a world heritage within the nine places, ruins and monuments included in the properties related to the kingdom of Ryukyu, prior to the integration of the Okinawa Islands in Japan (which occurred in the 19th century).

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