Two Men Collapse, Die While Queuing for Fuel in Crisis-Hit Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan police said on Sunday two men collapsed and died while waiting in separate queues to buy fuel, as gas stations in the country face long lines amid a severe fuel shortage.

“One was a 70-year-old three-wheeler driver who was a diabetic and heart patient while the second was a 72-year-old, both had been waiting in line for about four hours for fuel oil,” said police spokesman Nalin Thalduwa.

Local media reported that the 70-year-old man was standing in line to buy gasoline at a gas station outside Colombo on Sunday, while the 72-year-old was waiting to buy kerosene oil to use as cooking fuel.

Exhaustion from hours of waiting under intense heat is believed to have caused the deaths.

In the recent weeks, motorists have been queuing up for hours to secure fuel and the country has been rolling out power cuts. Low-income households have shifted to using kerosene oil instead of cooking gas due to price increases.

The Sri Lankan government last month admitted that it had run out of cash to import fuel as pump stations run dry because of a deepening foreign exchange crisis.

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