Fire and Explosion at Sri Lankan army camp kills 1 soldier

Michael Vencynth H. Braga - Associated Press

COLOMBO — A fire set off explosions at an army camp near Sri Lanka's capital on yesterday evening, killing one soldier and injuring another, officials said.

After the fire broke out at the Salawa army camp, it spread to an ammunition dump, setting off explosions, said military spokesman Brig. Jayanath Jayaweera.

He said personnel from the army and the air force were putting out the fire.

Jayaweera said it was not yet known what caused the fire.

Residents living within one kilometer (half a mile) of the camp were asked to evacuate, said Minister of Law and Order Sagala Ratnayake.

He said the fire started at a small arms depot and then had spread to other depots where heavy weapons such as artillery shells were stored.

The camp is about 22 miles (35 kilometers) east of Colombo, Sri Lanka's capital.

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