NEW DELHI — At least two people were killed when part of a huge mountain of garbage came crashing down in a landfill on the eastern outskirts of the Indian capital on Friday, police said.

Police officer Omvir Singh said the falling garbage pushed several vehicles into a nearby canal in Ghazipur area. He said five people were rescued and two died.

Police brought in large cranes to clear the trash as they launched a rescue operation.

Heavy rains are believed to have caused the landfill to collapse.

Media reports say about 2,800 tons of garbage are dumped at the site every day. The garbage comes from east Delhi, home to more than 4 million of the capital’s 21 million people.

In 2016, small fires began burning in parts of the 20-meter (80-foot) -high landfill. Authorities dismissed it as routine, saying decomposing garbage produces combustible methane gas.

Tens of thousands of people live in the area despite the smoke and stench emanating from the landfill.

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