Sri Lanka rubbish dump landslide: Death toll rises to 16

Dhaka,  Fri,  26 May 2017
Published : 15 Apr 2017, 16:11:29
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Sri Lanka rubbish dump landslide: Death toll rises to 16

A rubbish dump landslide in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo killed at least 16 and injured over a dozen.

Sri Lankan military spokesman and hospital officials said this on Saturday.

The estimated 300-foot (91 meter) dump collapsed after flames engulfed it late on Friday, the island nation's traditional new year's day, and witnesses said around 100 houses could have been buried.

The death toll rose to 16 as more bodies were discovered on Saturday, army spokesman Roshan Senivirathna said. At least four teenagers were among the dead, a nurse at the main Colombo hospital, said, reports Reuters.

"We heard a massive sound. It was like thunder. Tiles in our house got cracked. Black water started coming in," said Kularathna, who lives near the dump.

"We tried to get out but we were trapped inside. We shouted for help and were rescued later."

Another resident, Mohamed, said three of his neighbours were missing and estimated that more than 100 people could have been buried.

Rescue operations continued for a second day on Saturday with soldiers using heavy equipment to remove the garbage.

Police said about 145 houses had been damaged, but they did not say how many had been buried.

Residents of the area, mostly living in shanties, have been demanding the removal of the dump saying it was causing health issues. The government had planned to remove it soon under an infrastructure plan.
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