COLOMBO: A soldier was killed and eight others were injured as explosions rocked the Sri Lankan army’s armory at Salawa, 36 kms east of Colombo, overnight.
The spokesman of the Disaster Management Center (DMC), Pradeep Kodipily, told Express on Monday, that the explosions were continuing, but had declined in number and intensity over time.
The blasts were triggered when a fire engulfed two arms depots in the complex. Firefighters struggled to put out the blaze as the source could not identified.
“The Tri-Services team dousing the blaze is likely to complete its job soon. People living within a kilometer radius, who had been asked to vacate their houses, can come back to their homes in a few hours,” DMC spokesman Kodipilly said.
Media reported that shrapnel had been found three kilometers away from the arms dump, which had all kinds of munitions, including rockets. The night sky had turned a deep crimson as thousands of people living alongside the busy Colombo Kosgama/Avissawella/Nuwara Eliya road, fled the area.
The National Defense Council met in Colombo on Monday to take stock of the situation and plan security steps. Police Minister Sagala Ratnayake told the media that the CID is investigating the cause of the fire.
All roads leading to and from Salawa have been closed to traffic. The police and army have barred curious on lookers from going towards the arms dump and instructed them not to pick up any debris.