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Friday 24.11.2017 | Name days: Velta, Velda
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PHOTO: police perform an experiment in the ruins of Zolitude’s Maxima

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The main goal of the experiment of State Police is acquiring data on the overall stability and structural strength of the roof and supports of the collapsed Maxima supermarket in Zolitude. This data will then be used in the investigation to determine the cause of the cave-in, as reported by Chief of State Police Criminal Office Andrejs Grishins.

According to Grishin, everything is being carried out according to the previously planned scenario. The passive diagnostics stage is over. Police have begun the first stage of the active phase of testing. This includes the lowering of support platforms a few centimetres below the structure and continuing the necessary tests in order to observe how the supports and the roof will behave.

After the supports have been lowered, pools set up on top of the remaining roof section will be filled with water to observe the reaction of remaining supports to the added pressure. Police add that the added weight from water will create the necessary pressure for the whole structure to collapse. Grishin did not say how long it may take for the construction to collapse. He only said that haste is not something the police aim for. The experiment was set up to get results.

Grishin said the police expect the unexpected. The police expect that supports may not collapse momentarily; the process may take more time.

Results will likely become available somewhere in the second half of autumn. Data from today’s experiment and data from the experiment involving a controlled fire within the structure will be used in the investigation.

The controlled fire experiment is necessary to make certain if the fire that took place during the construction process of the supermarket had any impact on the integrity of the roof and support structure.

‘There is no doubt that it [fire] was one of the major factors that played a role in the tragedy. Specialists will also inspect changes that concrete structures under the effect of fire and water,’ – said a police representative. He added that the experiment will include a wide range of matters to review – starting with specific supports and ending with screws and bolts.

The goal of today’s experiment is the acquisition of scientific data. This data will then be used by experts to compile the final conclusion on the cause of the tragedy. ‘The experiment will also answer the question regarding the quality of the construction project and whether or not all calculations were completed correctly,’ – added Grishin.

BNN had previously reported there is evidence of Re&Re attempting to erase valuable evidence in the Zolitude tragedy case. State Police provided false information about ‘some worker from Riga City Council’ cutting a heavily deformed support construction into pieces. Police representatives are unable or are unwilling to explain who exactly ordered this to be done or where the pieces were ultimately taken.

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