fire fighters
[Representational Image]Reuters

One soldier died after a major fire set off multiple explosions at the Salawa army camp in Kosgama near Sri Lanka's capital city of Colombo on Sunday night, forcing the police to evacuate people from the area.

Associated Press quoted officials as saying on Monday that the fire had been put out.

Military spokesman Brigadier Jayanath Jayaweera was quoted by AP as saying though small blasts were still taking place, they "are not harmful and are happening inside the ammunition dump of the camp." He also said the authorities were letting people return to their homes but those living within a kilometre of the camp would have to wait till the soldiers gave clearance.

Colombo Gazette quoted Jayaweera as saying the air force and the navy were assisting in putting out the fire and the Colombo fire brigade had also been deployed. Chrishantha de Silva, Army Commander, has also reportedly gone to the spot to take stock of the situation.

Residents were quoted by the Colombo Gazette as saying the vibrations caused due to the explosions had damaged the glass windows of several houses in the area.

Jayaweera was quoted by AP as saying the cause of fire was not known yet. He added that the cost of the damage was yet to be calculated

Sagala Ratnayake, minister of law and order, apparently said the fire started at an armoury and then spread to other camps where heavy weapons, such as artillery shells, were stored.