Sri Lankan woman dies after fall at US Marine residence in Bahrain

By CHRIS CHURCH | STARS AND STRIPES Published: July 6, 2015

MANAMA, Bahrain — A 23-year-old Sri Lankan woman died early Saturday morning in Bahrain after falling from the balcony of a ninth-floor residence belonging to a U.S. Marine.

The woman, Kudaliyanage Dona Nimesha Udari Gunasekera, was attending a party at Class Plaza Two in Juffair at the time of the incident, according to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service Middle East field office.

According to NCIS, witnesses claim Gunasekera was “visibly intoxicated and stumbling.” A Marine attempted to grab her but was unable to reach her in time.

Drinking alcohol in public is banned throughout the holy month of Ramadan, but U.S. personnel are authorized to drink in their private residences.

Marines at the residence have cooperated with Bahraini authorities leading the investigation, said Capt. Robert Martins, Marine Corps Forces Central Command Forward public affairs officer. The Marines gave voluntary statements and were released.

The investigation is ongoing, but no foul play is suspected and no arrests have been made.

It’s the second death involving U.S. military personnel in recent months in Bahrain. In May, a sailor assigned to the USS Farragut died after falling from a hotel balcony in Juffair.

Navy officials said the circumstances surrounding that fall are still under investigation.


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