Sri Lanka garbage mountain buries 40 homes

2017-04-14 21:50
Sri Lankan hospital workers bring in a woman injured in the rubbish dump fire.  (Lakruwan Wanniarachchi, AFP)

Sri Lankan hospital workers bring in a woman injured in the rubbish dump fire. (Lakruwan Wanniarachchi, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Colombo - At least two people were killed and 10 others injured in Sri Lanka's capital on Friday after a massive rubbish dump buried an estimated 40 homes during the traditional new year.

A 12-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl died at the Colombo National hospital where 10 others were being treated after being rescued, hospital spokesperson Pushpa Soysa told AFP.

Police said hundreds of troops had joined the search for survivors after the disaster at Kolonnawa on the northeastern edge of the capital.

President Maithripala Sirisena ordered troops and police to join firefighters in the rescue after the 90m high dump caught fire and collapsed, officials said.

Police said the true scale of the damage remained unclear.

"A search for survivors is under way," the police said in a statement.

Dozens of homes collapsed after heavy rains overnight caused the garbage mountain to shift, officials said. It became further destabilised after a fire broke out, triggering landslides that buried dwellings.

Military spokesperson Roshan Seneviratne said 100 soldiers were already digging through mounds of trash. Heavy earth moving equipment was also being deployed, he added.

Local residents said many people had left the area after the night's heavy rain.

"We think about 40 homes have been destroyed," a disaster management official told reporters.

Roughly 800 tons of solid waste is added daily to the open dump, angering residents who live nearby.

Sri Lanka's parliament was warned recently that the 23 million tons of garbage rotting at Kolonnawa was a serious health hazard.

Efforts are underway to build an electricity plant that could transform the solid waste into fuel.

Friday's fire broke out as the country marked its traditional Sinhala and Tamil New Year and most people were in their homes celebrating.

Read more on:    sri lanka

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.