17 Sep 2010

Scores killed in accidental blast in Sri Lanka

10:52 pm on 17 September 2010

An explosion in Sri Lanka has killed at least 60 people, most of them policemen, according to officials.

A military spokesman said vehicles carrying explosives accidentally blew up at a police station near the eastern city of Batticaloa.

The explosives were being signed over to two Chinese road construction contractors, Major General Ubaya Medawala told the BBC.

At least 40 people are also reported to have been injured on Friday.

Major General Medawala said it was an accidental explosion, with "no sabotage suspected" as security was high at the police station in the small town of Karadiyanaru.

He said the explosives were being loaded on to several vehicles at the police station when one of them blew up, setting off the other explosives and destroying the station.

Almost all killed were policemen, Major General Medawala said. Also killed were the two Chinese nationals and several Sri Lankan civilians.

Chinese firms are heavily involved in road building and the construction of two ports in Sri Lanka.