Four persons have been confirmed dead following the crash of the Sri Lanka Airforce Antonov 32 in Hokandara, Athurugiriya. According to the Director of the Colombo National Hospital Dr. Anil Jasinghe, one survivor was transferred from the Sri Jayawardenepura Hospital to the National hospital with severe burns.
SLAF media spokesperson Wing Commander Gihan seneviratne confirmed that 5 persons were onboard their ill-fated aircraft. He further noted that the last message sent out by the pilot had noted that they could not see the airstrip of the Rathmalana Airport clearly due to weather conditions in the area.
Eyewitness reports also confirmed that heavy mist was prevalent in the area when the airplane crashed into a rubber estate. The plane crash also caused damages to the roof of a house, fortunately none of the occupants of the house were injured.
The crash occurred at around 6.20 a.m. According to the Civil Aviation Authority, the airplane had taken off from the Bandaranaike International Airport and was en route to the Ratmalana Airport. The CAA notes that investigations into the crash will be carried out by the SLAF
The Kotte fire and rescue units have been able to douse the fire that broke out following the crash, ambulances of the Sri Jayawardenepura Hospital have also made their way towards the crash site.
Rescue workers are urging the public not to gather at the crash site as it is hampering their efforts.