Rubbish dump collapses in Sri Lanka killing at least 17

Associated Press

At least 17 people were killed and more than 600 others forced to flee their homes after a massive mound of rubbish collapsed in a poor neighbourhood near the Sri Lankan capital Colombo, officials said on Saturday.

Soldiers were searching the site where the mound collapsed during festivities to mark the local new year.

Four people were rescued from underneath the rubbish mound, but it was unclear whether any others were buried, a military spokesman said.

The Disaster Management Centre said at least 13 other people were injured in the incident, which happened on Friday night in Meetotamulla.

The site had been used to dump Colombo's rubbish for the past few years as authorities sought to give the capital a facelift.

However, residents living in tiny homes in the area had been protesting against rubbish being dumped there because of health hazards.

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