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Election Dais Collapses, Injuring Three Ministers

July 20, 1994

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ A wooden stage collapsed under the president and his entourage during an election rally Wednesday. Nine people were injured, including three Cabinet ministers.

President Dingiri Banda Wijetunga, who was helped to his feet after the fall, was not hurt, police officer Rohana Fernando said. It was not immediately known why the stage collapsed.

Wijetunga was campaigning for the Aug. 16 general elections in the town of Embilipitiya, 75 miles southeast of the capital Colombo. The town was once the seat of Sinhalese Marxists who tried to overthrow the government in 1989.

The stage collapsed while the president was listening to a musical group. About 10 politicians were on the stage with the band when the stage fell.

The president left for Colombo after the stage collapsed.

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