19 killed in Sri Lanka as massive mound of garbage collapses | world-news | Hindustan Times
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19 killed in Sri Lanka as massive mound of garbage collapses

Four people were rescued from underneath the mound, but it was unclear whether any others were buried, said military spokesman Roshan Seneviratne. Soldiers were searching the site.

world Updated: Apr 15, 2017 21:16 IST
People walk past damaged houses during a rescue mission after a garbage dump collapsed and buried dozens of houses in Colombo.
People walk past damaged houses during a rescue mission after a garbage dump collapsed and buried dozens of houses in Colombo.(REUTERS)

At least 19 people were killed and more than 600 others fled their homes after a massive mound of garbage collapsed on part of a poor neighbourhood near Sri Lanka’s capital during festivities to mark the local new year, officials said Saturday.

Four people were rescued from underneath the mound, but it was unclear whether any others were buried, said military spokesman Roshan Seneviratne. Soldiers were searching the site.

Seneviratne said 625 people whose homes were either destroyed or under threat were being housed in nearby schools.

The Disaster Management Center said at least 12 other people were injured in the incident, which happened Friday night in Meetotamulla, near Colombo. The site had been used to dump Colombo’s garbage for the past few years as authorities sought to give a face-lift to the capital.

However, residents living in tiny homes in the area had been protesting against waste being dumped there because of health hazards.