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Trip ends in death for five

Dalukoya, where the five were drowned. Picture by Aseka Kuruluwansa

A trip by a group of garment factory workers from Hanwella ended in tragedy when five of them were drowned in the Dalukoya, a tributary of the Huluganga in Panwila after wading into it for a bath on Saturday afternoon.

They were identified as Shirlene Andira Benz (26) Gajana Sivanandan (26) Fathima Asma Niyaz (23) Mahen Susil Manjula (30) and Priyankara Premakumara (28).

They had been carried away by a sudden surge of water in the waterway due to heavy rain experienced in the area.

The Police said their bodies were found about a one kilometre downstream from the black bridge two hours after the tragedy. The deceased are residents of Kandy, Gurudeniya, Ganemulla, Wattala and Kirindiwela. Police investigations are continuing.

Meanwhile, villagers in the area said they had not seen such a surge in water levels at Dalukoya for the past 7 years.

Haja Mohideen, a resident in the area told the Daily News that warnings have been issued not to bathe in the Dalukoya but many people especially those come from outside ignore them.

He said those who come from outside could get fooled by the calmness and the depth of water levels of Dalukoya but when there is heavy rain upstream the speed and the water levels could surge suddenly and unexpectedly which is what happened on that fateful Saturday.