Disaster: 18 Killed as Latvia Supermarket Collapse

(Maxima Shopping Centre)

(Maxima Shopping Centre)

Disaster has struck as Supermarket collapses.

Rescue teams are searching among the rubble of a Latvian supermarket which collapsed and killed at least 18 people.

Fire trucks and ambulances remain at the scene of the Maxima shopping centre, and rescue workers are using mechanical cutters to clear debris from the single-storey concrete and glass building.

Among the dead are three firefighters, an official said.

The roof of the supermarket collapsed yesterday evening when the store was busy with shoppers on their way home from work.

Rescue workers were called to the store, situated in the midst of grey, Soviet-era housing in a suburb of the capital Riga.

Several people were injured by a second collapse caused by the building’s weakened structure.

It is unclear how many people remained trapped in the ruined store.

News agency RIA Novosti quoted Riga Mayor Nils Usakovs as saying 70 people are still in the building.

Rescue services said 36 injured people had been rescued and police sniffer dogs were searching for people still trapped.

More than 60 soldiers were helping with the rescue effort, the army said on its official Twitter feed.

Latvian TV said three cranes are working to remove concrete blocks from the roof so that rescuers could get to those inside, but firefighters feared another collapse.

Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis told Latvian TV that the rescue work would probably go on for many hours.

“It is clear that there has been a problem with fulfilment of construction requirements,” Interior Minister Rihards Kozlovskis told Latvian TV by telephone.

The police have launched an investigation into the collapse.

May the souls of the Dead Rest In Peace.

+ Photo of Rescue workers.

(Rescuers)

(Rescuers)

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