SHILLONG, Jan 2 � A Catholic Church was razed to the ground in an inferno at Mawprem here in the wee hours today.
The fire broke out in the Visitation Church at about 1.30 am and left the wooden structured place of worship totally gutted. However, no one was injured in the incident, Parish priest Rev Fr Leo Iawbor said. The Church was a 10-year-old structure and was built at a cost of over Rs 20 lakh.
Iawbor said local residents came to extinguish the fire, but could not be of much assistance. Fire tenders, incidentally, could not reach the place on time as the road leading to the Church is narrow. The problem was compounded by overnight parking of vehicles leading to the Church.
The priest said that the only possible cause of the fire could be an electrical short circuit. �We don�t suspect anyone to be behind the incident, but, the only possible explanation could be an electrical short circuit caused the outbreak of fire,� he said.
The Fire department has already begun an investigation to find out the exact cause of the blaze. �We aren�t totally sure what caused the fire at this moment, but preliminary investigation hints towards an electrical short circuit,� a Fire department official said.
Meanwhile, Social Welfare Minister John Antonius Lyngdoh and former Urban Affairs Minister Paul Lyngdoh visited the site and took stock of the situation.