Sri Lanka's garbage mountain collapses on slums
Apr 14, 2017 17:57 PM GMT+0530 | 2 Comment(s)
DANGEROUS DUMP: A google aerial picture of the Meethotamulla garbage mountain
ECONOMYNEXT - A mountain of garbage near Sri Lanka's capital Colombo caught fire and collapsed on dozens of shanties on Friday as the country marked its traditional New Year, the fire department said.
Fire fighters rushed to Kolonnawa where the 300-foot (91-metre) rubbish dump crashed following a fire, an official at the Colombo Fire department said.
The army was also called in to help the rescue effort, while an airforce helicopter was also deployed to douse the flames.
A fire department official said they were uncertain if there were people inside when the makeshift homes were buried under the rubbish. Initial reports said about 40 shanties were buried in a garbage slide.
He said several ambulances were also sent to the area.
Colombo National Hospital spokeswoman Pushpa Ramya Soysa said six people - two women and four men - were admitted to the hospital, and two of them were in a serious condition.
Local residents had been protesting about the environmental damage to the area as a result of the open dump to which some 800 tonnes of solid waste is added daily.
The parliament was told recently that the Kolonnawa dump had over 23 million tonnes of garbage dumped over the years. (COLOMBO, April 14, 2017)