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Accidental explosion kills 62 in eastern Sri Lanka

Last updated on: September 17, 2010 14:56 IST

At least 62 people, including two Chinese nationals, were killed and 40 others injured on Friday in an accidental blast of explosives stored in a police station in Eastern Sri Lanka for road construction in the region.

The blast occurred at the Karadiyanaru police station, 'where the explosives were kept for safety', the military said. Most of those killed were policemen.

The explosives that detonated were meant for road construction in the region and belonged to a Chinese company, military spokesman Udaya Medawalla said. Nearly 60 policemen and two Chinese nationals lost their lives in the blast, he said.

The blast occurred when workers from the Chinese company were shifting the explosives kept in containers in the police station to a vehicle, Medawalla said.

Shortly after, the vehicle carrying the explosives blew up and as a result of the detonation, three other containers too blew up, the spokesman said. Officials said that 30 of the 40 injured have been admitted to the Batticaloa Hospital.

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