Sixteen dead as rubbish dump collapses on homes in Sri Lanka's capital Colombo

A landslide at a rubbish dump in Sri Lanka's capital has killed 16 people and injured at least a dozen more.

Many are feared missing and more than 600 people are said to have fled their homes after the 300-foot (91 metre) dump collapsed on houses in Colombo.

A local businessman, who gave his name only as Mohammad, witnessed the landslide.

He said: "There was a big noise. We heard people shouting.

"Houses behind us were coming towards us, they were flying at us. It was like a tsunami. Houses were cracked.

"My house is buried. Three of my neighbours are buried too. Over 100 may have been buried.

"Only a few people were rescued or taken out."

Kularathna, who lives near the dump, said: "We heard a massive sound. It was like thunder.

"Tiles in our house got cracked. Black water started coming in.

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

Emergency services have been using heavy lifting equipment to search through the mountain of garbage in their hunt for survivors.

Police say at least four teenagers are among the dead. They estimate 145 homes have been damaged.

Many of the residents near the dump live in shanties and they have been calling for its removal, saying it was causing health problems.

Sri Lanka's government had planned to remove the dump soon.

The accident happened late on Friday, on what is the traditional new year's day in Sri Lanka.

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