Latvian Roof Collapse

November 22, 2013 by  

Latvian Roof Collapse, The death toll from the collapse of a roof at a supermarket in Latvia’s capital, Riga, has climbed to 47, with six of the bodies removed from the rubble as yet unidentified, according to local media.

Latvia’s national news agency LETA said a police spokesman had confirmed the latest toll. Police were using surveillance camera recordings to try to pinpoint the likely locations of victims under the rubble, it said.

The supermarket collapse is the Baltic state’s deadliest accident since it won independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, LETA reported. Latvia’s previous most deadly accident was a nursing home fire that killed 26 people in 2007.

Rescue Service spokeswoman Viktorija Sembele earlier said 35 people had also been injured in Thursday’s collapse at the Maxima supermarket, in western Riga.

Three firefighters were among the dead. Latvia’s Interior Ministry said their families would receive 50,000 LVL ($95,600) in compensation. The treatment of rescue workers injured in the operation would also be paid for, it said.

Search teams continue to comb the rubble for more bodies, with the number of dead expected to rise, Sembele said.

“The firefighters are still working to find people. They are putting away the constructions and still approximately 600 square meters of this collapsed area should be searched through,” she said.

Sembele declined to speculate on the cause of the collapse.

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