Colombo, April 16 (QNA) -The death toll from the collapse of a massive garbage mound near Sri Lanka's capital rose to 22 on Sunday, and activists said some 20 more people could still be buried underneath the debris.
Maj. Gen. Sudantha Ranasinghe, who is heading the rescue efforts, said authorities were struggling to determine exactly how many people were trapped under the debris. Military personnel were still searching the site in Meetotamulla, a town outside Colombo, the capital, and speaking to survivors to determine how many were missing.
The tragedy occurred Friday evening as people were celebrating the local new year. Twelve people who were injured in the disaster remained in the hospital. Ranasinghe said 78 houses were destroyed and more than 150 were damaged.
The site has been used to dump Colombo's garbage for the past few years as authorities sought to give the capital a face-lift. But residents living in tiny homes in the area have protested against all the waste being dumped there because of health hazards.(QNA)