A huge portion of a high wall in the Jaisalmer fort caved in on Thursday. An accident was averted as people involved in restoration work had gone for lunch and there were no tourists or local residents at the site. The fort is being restored by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

One of the largest fortifications in the world, the 12th-century fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Three residential structures on the ramparts of the fort also suffered damage in the wall collapse.

 The aothorities have barricaded the road leading to the fort and deployed policemen to keep visitors away from the site. Water had reportedly seeped into the wall’s foundation after rains a day before, making the ground unstable.

The ASI had started the repair work on the fort’s ramparts about two weeks ago. The fort, popularly known as Sonar Quila (golden fort), has a huge population residing in it, making its conservation difficult due to civic pressure and water seepage.

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