Colombo, May 22 -- At least three women were killed and nine others injured in a stampede during the distribution of coronavirus-related aid in the Sri Lankan capital, police said.

Police said the incident took place on Thursday in the Maligawatta area of Colombo, where a businessperson had organized an event to distribute cash donations of 1,500 Sri Lankan rupees ($8) to the poor, reports Efe news.

The island country is under a nationwide lockdown that has pushed the economy to the brink amid no tourism, with millions losing their livelihood.

Police superintendent Jaliya Senaratne said six people who had organized the charity event were arrested following the incident.

"Everything happened within five or 10 minutes. Over 1,000 people...