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Reckless driving claims 16 lives in three days
 

Sixteen people were killed and 14 injured in road deaths due to reckless driving during the last three days.

Six people were killed and nine others critically injured when a Mazda tipper returning from a funeral at Pitaratmale lost control and plummeted 800 feet into a precipice near the third mile post on the Haputale Beragala road on Monday night.

A spokesman for the Badulla DIG's office said five people died on the spot while another died after admission to the Badulla hospital yesterday morning. Arm

y and Air Force units were called from Diyatalawa bases for the rescue operation and lift the injured from the gorge below, Police said. The nine injured including the driver of the tipper are warded at Haputale and Haldummulla hospitals and some were later transferred to the Diyatalawa Base hospital. Two have been rushed to Badulla hospital in critical condition. Five of the travellers are reported missing.

Police said a group of 20 people had left Welikada, Rajagiriya on July 10 to attend a funeral at Pitaratmale, Haputale. The accident had occurred on the return journey, the next day. The group had left around 9.00 pm after attending the funeral.

"We have not yet ascertained the cause for the accident," the spokesman said adding that the Motor Traffic Examiners will leave for the accident site from Badulla Police Station to conduct an inquiry to find the cause of the accident.

The incident came just days after 10 people including eight women were killed and five others seriously injured in a van-lorry collision in Weliweriya on Saturday night.

The van which was returning from Anuradhapura after a religious ceremony collided with the lorry coming on the wrong side at the 'Suruwama Junction' Weliweriya.

Several major accidents have occurred during the last few months, the most horrendous being the bus-rail crash at Yangalmodara, Polgahawela, in which 37 people were killed.

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