Colombo, April 16 (IANS) The death toll in a garbage dump collapse near Colombo in Sri Lanka over the weekend has risen to 24, authorities said on Sunday.
The funeral of 15 victims of the Meetotamulla garbage dump incident was held on Sunday, Xinhua news agency reported.
The 300-feet-high garbage pile had shifted after floods and a fire, and subsequently collapsed on Friday evening onto homes located around the dump, where some 600 people lived, an official said.
Organiser of the "Movement Against the Meetotamulla Garbage Dump", Nuwan Bopage said 24 bodies were recovered from under the rubble so far.
There were at least 20 more bodies still trapped inside, Bopage said.
The funeral of the remaining victims would be held on Monday.
"The residents of Meetotamulla are extremely angry at the authorities for their failure to address this issue before. We have been urging the state to look into this matter for the past six years but no one did anything and today many lives have been lost," Bopage said.
Rescue teams continued search operations on Sunday.
Military Spokesperson Brigadier Roshan Seneviratne said over 1,000 troops were deployed to carry out search operations and a centre was set up to provide details of missing people.