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Saturday 24.08.2019 | Name days: Boļeslavs, Bērtulis

Zolitude tragedy: 54 dead; Maxima building falls apart even more

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Over the course of the last couple of days, rescuers have managed to locate remains of 54 people underneath the rubble of the collapsed roof of Maxima supermarket in Zolitude. According to State Police press-representative Sigita Pildava, remains of the last person found in the rubble was carried away this morning shortly before 06:00. The body was identified almost immediately.

Shortly before 18:00 PM November 23, there was a collapse of another section of the building. No one was injured, because the collapse took place in an empty section of the ruined building, SFRS report.

Representatives of State Police say two more bodies have been identified. Unfortunately, at least thirteen more people are considered missing without a trace. It is likely that they are still somewhere inside the building.

Among the 54 casualties are 3 fire fighters and 4 Maxima Latvia employees. There is also a citizen of Armenia among the casualties. An employee of the Interior Ministry’s Information Centre also is a victim of this tragedy.

The ruins of Maxima building will be demolished. Authorities to discuss the possibility of prohibiting any construction work to be carried out there, as reported by Mayor of Riga Nil Ushakov.

The map that shows the building’s layout, positioning of people and work progress of rescuers will be published.

The remaining area of the building that rescuers need to dig through to search for survivors is 150 m2 (total area 1,500 m2). Rescue teams have reached very complicated constructions. Their dismantling can be dangerous for rescue personnel. All work was halted for a short time to discuss further actions.

Fire fighters prefer not to predict how many people may still be buried under the rubble.

Rescuers are nearly done digging through the rubble of Maxima building in Zolitude: only 80 m2 left (total area is 1,500 m2). However, these will be the most complicated, SFRS reports.

I was previously noted that rescuers had reached an especially complicated area of the building: it is littered with large chunks of debris. Some are three to five meters large in size, according to the latest report by SFRS.

Families of the victims will each receive compensation of LVL 10,000 from Riga City Council. Those who received injuries in this accident will be paid LVL 5,000. Funeral expenses will also be covered.

Starting next Monday, all residents who want to help the victims financially or in any other way can turn to Riga City Council’s Charity Department, 80005055.

Lawyers will offer victims and families of those who died free services. Foster families are prepared to take in children who lost their parents in this tragedy. It is entirely possible that eight parents may have been killed in the accident.

In order to be able to find victims under the rubble more efficiently, police have used recordings from security cameras to create a map of the building with approximate last known locations of people marked based on last footage from security cameras before the roof collapsed. Rescuers have been provided with this map. Remains of the last person found under the rubble of the building were found a couple of minutes before 06:00 AM Saturday, November 23. The body was identified almost immediately.

State Police have launched a criminal investigation.

Residents who believe their relatives or friends were injured in this incident should dial 67337813 or 25617442 for information.

The team at BNN express their most sincere condolences to the relatives of victims of this catastrophe.


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  1. Dave says:

    I am from the UK, I am so very sadden utterly shocked by the tragic event in Latvia that has cost so many lives, my deepest sympathy and heart felt sadness goes to all those who have lost someone dear, you have a lovely country with lovely people, you will recover from this in time. God Bless you all during this sad time.

  2. Yeovil says:

    My sincere condolences go out to the people of Latvia, being from Yeovil we have a good relationship with them via football but none of that matters when tragedies like this happen. I wish you all well in this time of pain.

  3. Ieva says:

    Domās esmu ar visiem maniem mīļajiem manā mīļajā Latvijā… Nespēju noticēt tam, ko dzirdu un lasu …. Mana visdziļākā līdzjūtība tām ģimenēm, kas zaudējušas savus mīļos un tuvos šajā liktenīgajā traģēdijā… Esiet stipri, mani mīļie…

  4. Brigitte Berlin says:

    A great tagedy for Riga, Latvia. I keep thinking of those who have lost their loved ones.

  5. JPR says:

    Shameful oppressive capitalism created this

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