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Part of Ming dynasty city wall collapses in ancient Chinese capital of Nanjing

Authorities in eastern China have warned residents to keep away from a section of an ancient city wall after part of it collapsed last weekend.

A large number of rectangular-shaped bricks fell from Nanjing City Wall in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, on Sunday morning, the local newspaper Xinhua Daily reported.

No casualties were reported following the collapse of the wall, built during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), in Xiaotaoyuan Park, where residents regularly exercise.

The park has cordoned off the area while repair work is carried out and a notice has been put up warning residents not to use exercise equipment located near the wall because of the danger of a further collapse.

Nanjing was established as China’s capital about 600 years ago and served as the capital of many different dynasties during the nation’s history.

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The city wall was reported to be 35.267km long when it was completed, after 27 years of work, and contained 350 million bricks. About 25km of the wall is still standing today. The average height of the wall was 12 metres and 7 metres wide.

As an important historical heritage, the ancient city wall was included on the waiting list of China’s projects as Unesco world cultural heritage sites.

Nanjing municipal government has introduced regulations over the past two years to protect the city wall.

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This month city authorities called on the public to hand in bricks that formed part of the original city wall. Each person will be rewarded with 2,000 yuan (HK$2,250) for returning the bricks or providing clues to the recovery of bricks.