After the alarm went off on the day of Zolitude tragedy in Maxima Latvija store on Priedaines Street, the store’s management urged employees to remain in their seats. The management claimed that ‘everything was alright’.
One victim of the tragedy – a former Maxima employee – requested EUR 3,000 moral compensation. The woman says the alarm went off at 17:00. According to her, the alarm remained active for approximately 20 minutes. The victim explains that the management of the store urged employees to remain in their places, claiming that everything would be fine.
She said the alarm was also triggered on the day before the tragedy.
One of the witnesses – an officer of the State Fire and Rescue Service – says that the trade union encouraged members to apply for moral compensation, but he cannot remember what amount he requested. He arrived at the scene after the second roof collapse. Although he was on his holiday when the tragedy occurred, he was called in.
The rescuer received a back injury as a result of an accident at the ruins of the store. He added that his injury does not prevent him from working. Nevertheless, he is no longer able to engage in wrestling as he used to.
The court went through the witness’s testimony. His requested compensation was EUR 10,000.
Another victim of the tragedy had requested compensation of EUR 10,000. He had entered the store on the day of the tragedy with his girlfriend after training. He did not receive any injuries when the roof collapsed. He could not recall when he and his girlfriend had entered the store. He did say it was already dark.
When asked if anything had seemed different about Maxima that day, the only thing the man said was there had been fewer people than usual at the store. When the roof collapsed, he said he though a bomb had exploded, as it ‘was suddenly loud’.
Another victim of Zolitude tragedy requested EUR 10,000 moral compensation. The victim often went to Maxima store because she was working in a fitness club, where she had gone with a friend on the day of the tragedy – the aforementioned man. According to her, she had arrived at Maxima store seven to ten minutes before the tragedy.
According to the young woman, there had been no signs that the roof could have collapsed.
Another victim requested EUR 100,000 moral compensation and more than EUR 60,000 material compensation for lost income in SFRS – he was forced to retire because of injuries sustained as a result of the tragedy.
He had arrived at the scene after the first collapse. The second collapse of the remaining roof structure is what caused his injuries. He was found more than three hours later and was quickly hospitalized.
Another Maxima employee, who worked in that particular store since its opening, also testified. According to her, many buyers had left once the alarm was triggered. She, on the other hand, «had no idea who to ask what to do». Her testimony states that the alarm went off shortly after 16:00 and remained active for a long time.
She also confirmed that no one told the store’s employees what to do. None of the employees were evacuated. In addition, she said the store had suffered from often alarm triggers.
Today it was announced that Maxima’s defence in the Zolitude tragedy criminal case will be provided by lawyer Aleksandr Berezins.