Religious landmark toppled in Thailand

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A major religious landmark was badly damaged in central Thailand on Thursday when an oil tanker slammed into a river bank, toppling a statue of St Anna.

The accident occurred late on Thursday when a tanker coming up the Tha Chin river hit a pier where the large statue was located, knocking it to the ground.

The statue had been used as a beacon by fishermen in Samut Sakhon province for decades and was revered by both Catholics and Buddhists, Church officials said. Fishing boats often would pause in front of the statue while crews prayed for their safety and a good catch before heading out to sea.

The statue was atop a parish hall on the banks of the Tha Chin River which flows into the Gulf of Thailand. The statue was hailed as one of the top tourist attractions in Samut Sakhon, about 30 kms east of the capital Bangkok.

A worker at the parish told that parish officials were assessing the damage on Friday and could not comment on whether the landmark could be salvaged.

Source: (Feb. 7, 2014)