Massive dump landslide kills at least 10 in Sri Lanka - GBnews24
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Massive dump landslide kills at least 10 in Sri Lanka

At least 10 people were killed and 20 injured in Sri Lanka's capital on Friday after a massive rubbish dump buried an estimated 40 homes.

 

The 91-metre-high rubbish dump at the northeastern edge of Colombo collapsed on Friday when a fire broke out at its top, engulfing the mountain of garbage in flames and triggering a landslide that swamped the homes below.

 

A 13-year-old boy and two teenage girls died at the Colombo National hospital where 10 others were being treated after they were rescued, hospital spokeswoman Pushpa Soysa said.

 

Three other people pulled from the wreckage of their homes were already deceased by the time they arrived at the hospital, she said.

 

Another four children - two boys and two girls aged between 11 and 15 - succumbed to their wounds overnight, Soysa said on Saturday.

 

"We remain on standby, some people who were pulled out of wrecked homes were brought in overnight," she told the AFP news agency.

 

The fire broke out as the country marked its traditional Sinhala and Tamil New Year, and most people were in their houses celebrating.

 

Sri Lanka's government deployed hundreds of troops and police to dig through mounds of trash for survivors.

 

Police said in a statement they were unable to say how many people or houses had been buried in the landslide.

 

"It is too early and still we can't say how many houses are damaged or destroyed and how many people affected," said Pradeep Kodippili, Disaster Management Centre spokesman.

 

Estimates ranged from 40 to 100 homes swamped by the fallen trash.

 

Roughly 800 tonnes of solid waste is added daily to the 23 million tonnes of garbage rotting at the open dump at Kolonnawa on the northeastern edge of the capital.

 

Residents in the area have been demanding the removal of the dump, saying it was causing health issues. The government had planned to clear it soon under a new infrastructure plan.

 

 

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