At least 16 killed in Sri Lanka garbage landslide disaster

Sri LankanSri Lankan army soldiers and rescue workers salvage belongings after houses are buried in a collapse of a garbage dump in Meetotamulla, on the outskirts of Colombo, Sri Lanka, Saturday, April 15, 2017. A part of the garbage dump that had been used in recent years to dump the waste from capital Colombo collapsed destroying houses, according to local media reports. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

16 people, including 4 children, died, and 20 were injured when a huge mountain of garbage collapsed in the Sri Lankan capital city of Colombo.

A 12 year old boy, and 2 teenage girls are among the casualties, said a spokeswoman for the hospital in Colombo.

Approximately 50 houses were buried in the garbage mountain in Kolonnawa. President Maithripala Sirisena has ordered soldiers and police forces to assist rescue workers in the search for survivors amidst the 91-meter high garbage pile.

The collapse is believed to have been triggered by heavy rains on Thursday night, which were followed by a landslide. The country’s air defenses have scrambled helicopters to extinguish a fire that broke out after the avalanche.

Approximately 800 tonnes of waste are brought to the open landfill daily. The country’s parliament was recently warned that 23 million tonnes of waste are rotting in Kolonnawa, posing a serious health risk.

Just a month ago more than 110 people were killed in a massive garbage landslide in Ethiopia. Many of those who died were women and children who made their living by picking through the garbage.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today