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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2610

A fire broke out at the armory of the Kosgama Salawa Army Camp

Colombo, 06 June, (Asiantribune.com):

A fire broke out at the armory of the Sri Lanka Salawa Army Camp, located in Kosgama, Avissawella around 6pm yesterday, according to police sources.

The Kosgama Camp accommodated one of the biggest armouries of the Sri Lanka Army.

The fire had reportedly started around 6pm while loud exploding sounds had been heard by area residents.

One person was killed, according to unconfirmed reports.

Military Spokesman Brigadier Jayanath Jayaweera said the area had been cordoned off to prevent people from rushing to the scene.

The High Level Road from Hanwella to Kosgama was closed off for traffic.

Acting IGP SM Wickremesinghe said action had been taken to divert traffic and provide security to the area which a power outage plunged into darkness. Police would assist military personnel to douse the fire, he said. All fire engines in the area had been rushed to the scene and several more sent from Colombo, sources said.

Residents within a 6km radius of the Kosgama Army camp were evacuated by security personnel as a safety precaution.

Meanwhile, the Police requested the public to refrain from coming to the area to see the fire.

Army, Navy and Air Force personnel were deployed to provide security and fight the raging fire.

Brigadier Jayaweera said the Sri Lanka Air Force had deployed a UAV and a B-200 aircraft to observe the situation as no one could reach the place by road due to explosions.

Law and Order and Southern Development Minister Sagala Ratnayake, who visited the scene, told the media upon his return that the fire had been brought under control. "The fire had quickly spread to two ammunition dumps and it was difficult to put out the fire because the fire engines could not reach the place. Our first objective is to protect lives while dousing the fire. Thereafter we could find what exactly happened and how it happened. I spoke to officers and they were of the opinion that it was unnecessary to evacuate people from an area of six kilometers from the camp. The explosions would not be felt more than one km away. Had they removed people in the two km radius from the camp that would have been sufficient. We have not ruled out sabotage. I have already instructed the CID to conduct a separate investigation."

- Asian Tribune –

Smoke and fire rise following explosions at an army ammunition dump at Salawa Military Camp at Kosgama yesterday.
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