Four charred bodies including that of two children who are suspected to have died due to electrocution were found by Dehiwela Police inside a house in Kawdana, Dehiwela last morning.
These bodies were charred beyond recognition when they were discovered on the ground floor of the three storied house.
The bodies of three females and a male, believed to be from the same family, were found inside the residence.
Police found two bodies lying on the floor and the others on a chair and a bed. Police officials investigating into the incident have also inspected the partly burnt pantry cupboards and an electric oven inside the cupboard. According to Police sources, the two children were in the age group of 12 - 14. A neighbour told the Daily News that the family was well known to them.
She said that the householder is a businessman who owns a shop in Pettah.
"My son went there to play with his children. I took him back home around 10 p.m. on Tuesday
"These girls were studying at international school in Narahenpita and used to go to school by a van.
"She said that he heard someone knocking at their gate last morning and then called for assistance as no one answered the call. Theareafter, we phoned their relatives who live at Prathibimbarama Road, Kalubowila. She asked us to break open the gate and go inside," he said. " Later Police also arrived at the scene and discovered that the ground floor of the house was fully covered with smoke,"she explained.
Dehiwela Police Acting OIC W.D.P Krishantha who inspected the scene said that they found a substance like ash on the ground floor.
The victims have been identified as Husain Mawlana, Mirshida Mawlana, Musna Mawlana and Misna Mawlana, originally residents of Weligama.
Speaking to the "Daily News" died woman's elder sister, who is the mother of one of dead girls said that," My daughter went to my sisters place on Tuesday evening. She always visits my sister's to keep company of her daughter. I phoned my daughter on Tuesday night and she asked me to pick her from my sisters place at that time. But, I said no as at that time, I have no one to send to pick her from my sister's place. Then, last morning, I received a phone call from our daughter's van driver.He told me that he went to pick my daughter and niece from my sister's, but, no one responded from inside the house. I then asked him to break open the lock on the gate and go inside. I rushed to the scene on receiving the message. Then, I saw the tragedy which had unfolded.
Mount Lavinia Magistrate Prabasha Ranasinghe conducted the initial magisterial inquest and send the bodies to the Kalubowila hospital for the postmortem onthe directions of Judicial Medical Officer. The postmortem inquiry had indicated that the four deaths might have been caused by inhalation of toxic gases, hospital sources said last night.
The JMO has given an open verdict that the remains should be sent to the Government Analyst's Department, they said.