Colombo, April 17 (IANS) Sri Lankan authorities on Monday continued search operations to find more victims buried under the rubble of a garbage dump near here, after the toll from its collapse rose to 30.
Rescue officials by Monday morning had recovered 30 bodies and the army said it would continue searching for victims as there was no exact figure of those missing in the Meetotamulla incident, Xinhua news agency reported.
“No one has actually come forward and given any information as to how many are exactly missing. Therefore, we will continue the search,” military spokesperson Brigadier Roshan Seneviratne said.
Over 1,000 troops were involved in the rescue and search operations.
Organiser of the “Movement against Meethotamulla garbage dump” Nuwan Bopage told Xinhua that at least 10 more persons were missing at the dump.
He said residents still hoped to find the bodies of the victims so that their final rites could be performed.
The funeral of 15 more victims was held in Meetotamulla on Monday.
Hundreds were displaced as tne mountain of the garbage slid and collapsed, and were in urgent need of basic facilities such as water, food, mosquito nets, milk and medicines.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has vowed to shut down the dump, which had absorbed much of Colombo’s garbage for several years as much of the capital has undergone extensive renovations.
Wickremesinghe, who reached Vietnam on Sunday afternoon, has decided to cut short his visit because of the tragedy at Meetotamulla.
President Maithripala Sirisena instructed authorities to provide relief to the victims, without any financial restraints.
The 91-metre tall massive garbage dump collapsed on Friday evening, burying over 100 homes and displacing over 600 people just as the country celebrated its traditional New Year.