Sep 21, 2020

Owner of collapsed Kandy building, a fmr. Diyawadana Nilame!

The owner of the collapsed building in the Buwelikada area in Kandy, is revealed to be a former Diyawadana Nilame.

The owner, Anura Lewke, revealed that they had gone to bed around 1.00am that fateful night and later, had heard a loud noise. "Immediately, those in the right hand side house to ours, flashed torches and warned that the downstairs concrete beams seemed to be collapsing. Immediately, the floor seemed to angle and my son yelled at me to get out of the house. By the time I got out, my wife and daughter were already outside on the road and my son had also put the vehicle and the dog kennel to the road. Our house collapsed before our eyes and there wasn't time to warn anyone," he said.

Substandard construction

Meanwhile, the National Building Research Organisation (NBRO) notes that it was revealed that the construction of the building nor the foundation laid does not meet due recommendations or expected standards.

The NBRO had also instructed residents in the vicinity of the collapsed building to temporarily evacuate the area.

Geologist of the Kandy District Samantha Bogahapitiya said the building was constructed on unstable hillside ground, adding that such constructions at such sites must be carried out only on the recommendations of the NBRO.

Separate investigations

The NBRO and the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau have both commenced independent investigations into the building collapse.

The Central Province governor has also stated that an investigation would be held to ascertain whether the building was an illegal construction.

A couple and their one-and-a-half-month-old infant died in the collapse early last morning.

Five persons were at the house at the time of the incident, while Police rescued two women who were trapped under the rubble.