Colombo (AFP) – A multi-storey wedding venue collapsed during construction in Sri Lanka on Thursday, injuring at least 20 workers and leaving three others missing, police and hospital officials said.
Labourers were working on the roof of the grand seven-level structure in Colombo when it came crashing down, pinning tradesmen beneath falling slabs of concrete.
A search was underway for three people missing since the accident, police in the capital said, while 20 others pulled from the ruins with injuries were taken to hospital.
Construction worker Weerakoon Banda, 42, said he was on the ground level when there was a “huge bang”.
“I was trapped under concrete beams, but I could managed to crawl out to safety, but a colleague of mine is still missing,” he told AFP while being treated for a leg injury in hospital.
Rescue operations were hampered by heavy monsoon rains that began shortly after “The Excellency” reception hall collapsed, police said.
Construction accidents are rare in Sri Lanka but concerns have been raised about building standards from a building boom in the aftermath of the civil war.