Meethotamulla death toll rises to 17, including 4 children

15 April 2017 05:45 pm - 14     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


The death toll at the Meethotamulla garbage dump has risen to 17 by this afternoon, the Police said. It said at least 13 people were injured in the mishap. 

Meanwhile,Reuters said the estimated 300-foot (91 metre) dump collapsed after flames engulfed it late on Friday, the new year's day, and witnesses said around 100 houses could have been buried.

At least four teenagers were among the dead, a nurse at the main Colombo hospital has told Reuters.

"We heard a massive sound. It was like thunder. Tiles in our house got cracked. Black water started coming in," said Kularathna, who lives near the dump.

"We tried to get out but we were trapped inside. We shouted for help and were rescued later."

Another resident, Mohamed, said three of his neighbours were missing and estimated that more than 100 people could have been buried.

Rescue operations continued for a second day on Saturday with soldiers using heavy equipment to remove the garbage.

Police said about 145 houses had been damaged, but they did not say how many had been buried.

Residents of the area, mostly living in shanties, have been demanding the removal of the dump saying it was causing health issues.

The government had planned to remove it soon under an infrastructure plan.

  Comments - 14

  • concern Saturday, 15 April 2017 07:15 PM

    The irony of this admin is whenever something goes wrong the blame goes to previous admin without getting a solution. It is over two years and how long this blame game is going to continue ?

    RAM Saturday, 15 April 2017 07:16 PM

    At least NOW let the authorities take recycling and garbage disposal seriously. They just indiscriminately dump garbage with no thought of all the environmental impact in these areas. When the garbage rots, of course there will be chemical reactions to the air/pile. Kids dont understand these things. They would have lit crackers and fire works near the dump site not realising there was a timebomb of methayne gas that could blow the place sky high. Authorities NEED TO TAKE proper action for the safety of the residents.

    vithura Saturday, 15 April 2017 07:35 PM

    Govt. should lose no time in start charging waste disposal / recycling costs on ALL packaged goods manufactures and importers and tender out the management of recycling and refuse management to international waste management companies, rather than just dumping the waste from over-consumption in the neighbourhood of civilian habitations at the cost of their health and even worse their lives, as evidenced by this tragedy.

    Shelly. Saturday, 15 April 2017 07:49 PM

    Politicos boast of express ways..widened air and sea ports...industrial zones..CABINET changes...elections...But they didnt want to see or talk of this pending disaster. Why do we live to witness this foolishness. via DM Android App

    brainmaster Saturday, 15 April 2017 08:14 PM

    I dont blaim the present Government. This garbage hill was piled up under the last regime. But I remember that even in the early 70ies under Sirimavo proper garbage management and recycling was already discussed. But as usually in action just talking about. via DM Android App

    Rama Saturday, 15 April 2017 08:35 PM

    Not a single comment about the incompetency of the doctors who could not save so many lives.It is a myththat doctors are medical experts.

    B S Perera Saturday, 15 April 2017 08:38 PM

    What I have heard long time back was that many offers were received for recycling plants, but not materialized due to asking for commissions by the relevant persons

    ceylon Saturday, 15 April 2017 08:42 PM

    good lesson if can learn.garbage matters also has a system to do.when can do a thing correctly by this countrys garbage brains. via DM Android App

    Tim Saturday, 15 April 2017 08:47 PM

    It's a very sad thing to see....This is a result of media and various political group past and present, other rights group etc etc were responsible for this situation.It is they who were backing people and were behind people when ever they were protecting about this garbage dump.All these people have been given alternatives by the former and the present governments. But because media was playing politics , mainly the so called which is in center of many created issues are directly responsible for each and every life lost. Meethotamulla did not become a garbage dump overnight. And there were many issues surrounding it.If not Meethotumulla another site will become Meethotumulla. Before blaming the place and the location think about the amount of garbage you and I dispose. We cannot wait at home if garbage was not collected even for 1 week. So garbage needs collected and needs dumped somewhere.

    ANTON Saturday, 15 April 2017 08:52 PM


    S.P,.RAMKUMAR Saturday, 15 April 2017 09:48 PM

    Oh my children you all are the victims of garbage earners, Politicians who are trying to earn from this garbage recycling contracts. That is the reason foreign companies unable to enter this deals. However local companies don't have any technical methods

    Kamal Saturday, 15 April 2017 10:23 PM

    The irony is that a disposal method was selected and funds were allocated in 2014. Unfortunately Yahapalana MPs wanted better cars than following though with that project.

    Anchor Monday, 17 April 2017 12:21 PM

    Hi Tim, Yes this looks the unforeseen truth in every problem today.Are you referring to the EAPs or the Maharajas. EAP has not played dirty politics, so it has to be the other S.

    Vernon Sunday, 16 April 2017 02:22 PM

    Yes not only for recycling or power generation, most of the proposals from outside by expats etc do not go through due to medians asking for bribes. Several individuals, entities have admitted to this fact and they go away frustrated.

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