COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) - Rescue workers pulled another six
bodies from a four-story building in the Sri Lankan capital
Wednesday, bringing the death toll from a blaze in a firecracker
store to 16, hospital and police officials said.
Twenty-one people were injured in the fire that broke out late
Tuesday in Colombo's main wholesale shopping district of Pettah.
Deputy Inspector General of Police Bodhi Liyanage told The
Associated Press that rescue workers were still looking for bodies
among the ruins of the building.
He said police have not determined what caused the fire.
Anil Jasinghe, a medical officer at Colombo National Hospital,
said 11 injured people remained there Wednesday evening. The others
had been sent home.
Most of the victims suffocated from smoke and other fumes,
Jasinghe said.
The fire, which followed an explosion at the firecracker store,
gutted the building and spread to several adjoining stores. Most of
those killed were shop employees who were about to go home.
Soldiers closed off the area, disrupting an early morning
wholesale fish market.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)