Five passengers were killed and twelve others were seriously injured when a tree fell on a SLTB bus on Duplication Road near the Liberty Plaza roundabout. The bus belonging to the Matugama depot was plying from Colombo to Deniyaya when the mishap occurred.

Several passengers who were trapped inside the bus were rescued by the Sri Lanka Police and Air Force personnel. The Duplication Road was temporarily closed following the accident, and motorists were advised to use alternative routes.

Meanwhile, Presidential Secretary Saman Ekanayake has instructed the Transport Ministry and Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) to provide compensation of Rs. 500,000 each to the families of those who died in the tragic accident.

State Defence Minister Pramitha Bandara Tennakoon yesterday morning directed the government institutions, including the Disaster Management Centre and the National Building Research Organisation, to conduct a study on large roadside trees at risk of falling due to the prevailing condition and remove any tree that may pose a threat to the public.