Apr 14, Colombo: A section of the mountainous landfill in a suburb of Sri Lanka's capital Colombo caught fire and collapsed damaging a large number of low-income homes as the country celebrated the dawn of a traditional New Year.
Many people were injured and at least six persons were admitted to the National hospital following the collapse of the 300-foot high garbage dump in Meethotamulla.
Fire fighters rushed to the site and the Army was called in to help dousing the fire. Sri Lanka Air Force has deployed a Bell 212 helicopter with a Bambi bucket to control the fire.
It was not immediately clear what caused the fire and authorities are not certain how many people were inside the shanties buried in the garbage pile. A fire department official said about 40 houses were buried.
President Maithripala Sirisena has instructed the tri-froces, Police and the Disaster Management Ministry to provide immediate relief to those who were affected by the incident.
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.
Families living in the area have been protesting for years against adding garbage to the landfill. Close to 50 houses located near the garbage dump collapsed in 2012 displacing the people.