A Sri Lankan woman who lost her family members in a garbage dump collapse cries in Meetotamulla, on the outskirts of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Picture: Eranga Jayawardena/AP
A Sri Lankan woman who lost her family members in a garbage dump collapse cries in Meetotamulla, on the outskirts of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Picture: Eranga Jayawardena/AP
People affected by a garbage dump collapse salvage their belongings in Meetotamulla, on the outskirts of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Picture: Eranga Jayawardena/AP
People affected by a garbage dump collapse salvage their belongings in Meetotamulla, on the outskirts of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Picture: Eranga Jayawardena/AP
Sri Lankan army soldiers and rescue workers salvage belongings of residents of the line of buried houses in a collapse of a garbage dump in Meetotamulla, on the outskirts of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Picture: Eranga Jayawardena/AP
Sri Lankan army soldiers and rescue workers salvage belongings of residents of the line of buried houses in a collapse of a garbage dump in Meetotamulla, on the outskirts of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Picture: Eranga Jayawardena/AP
Sri Lankans affected by a garbage dump collapse salvage their belongings in Meetotamulla, on the outskirts of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Picture: Eranga Jayawardena/AP
Sri Lankans affected by a garbage dump collapse salvage their belongings in Meetotamulla, on the outskirts of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Picture: Eranga Jayawardena/AP
Sri Lankan army soldiers and rescue workers salvage belongings after houses are buried in a collapse of a garbage dump in Meetotamulla, on the outskirts of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Picture: Eranga Jayawarden/AP
Sri Lankan army soldiers and rescue workers salvage belongings after houses are buried in a collapse of a garbage dump in Meetotamulla, on the outskirts of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Picture: Eranga Jayawarden/AP
Sri Lankans affected by a garbage dump collapse salvage their belongings in Meetotamulla, on the outskirts of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Picture: Eranga Jayawardena/AP
Sri Lankans affected by a garbage dump collapse salvage their belongings in Meetotamulla, on the outskirts of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Picture: Eranga Jayawardena/AP
A part of the garbage dump that had been used in recent years to dump the waste from capital Colombo collapsed destroying houses, according to local media reports. Picture: Eranga Jayawardena/AP
A part of the garbage dump that had been used in recent years to dump the waste from capital Colombo collapsed destroying houses, according to local media reports. Picture: Eranga Jayawardena/AP

Colombo, Sri Lanka — At least 10 people were killed and 12 others injured when a massive mound of garbage collapsed on part of a poor neighborhood near Sri Lanka's capital during festivities to mark the local new year, officials said on Saturday.

The Disaster Management Center said that 75 people whose homes were damaged were being housed in a nearby school. Soldiers were still searching the site to ensure that nobody was buried under the enormous heap of garbage.

The disaster occurred on Friday night in Meetotamulla, near Colombo. The site had been used to dump Colombo's garbage for the past few years as authorities sought to give a face-lift to the capital.

However, residents living in tiny homes in the area had been protesting against waste being dumped there because of health hazards.

AP