Sri Lanka blast death toll revised down to 27: military –

September 17, 2010 – Sri Lanka’s military more than halved the estimated death toll from an accidental blast at an explosives depot on Friday, saying 27 people had been killed instead of 60. The nearest hospital to the site of the accident, in the town of Batticaloa, said several people injured in the blast had been admitted, but a spokesman was unable to say how many had been hurt in total. “The death toll is 25 policemen and two Chinese contractors, not 60 dead as we said earlier,” military spokesman Ubaya Medawala told AFP. The explosion occurred at a police station in Karadiyanaru, 235 miles (378 kilometres) by road from the capital Colombo, where the explosives were stored.

Chinese infrastructure companies are highly active in Sri Lanka, fuelling concerns in neighbouring India about the growing influence of China in South Asia.

State-run firms are building two ports in Sri Lanka, one in the southern town of Hambantota and another in Colombo.