Supermarket roof collapses in Latvia; dozens may be trapped

Rescuers search for survivors at the Maxima XX supermarket in Riga, Latvia, after a roof collapsed.
(Ilmars Znotins / AFP/Getty Images)

MOSCOW -- A supermarket roof collapsed and killed at least four people Thursday night in Riga, the capital of Latvia, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.

Three bodies of customers were discovered by rescue workers, one of whom was also killed, authorities said. At least 30 people are injured, and as many as 70 more people may be under the debris, according to the mayor of Riga, Nil Ushakov.

The BBC reported that the dead rescue worker was a firefighter.


The store, Maxima XX, collapsed “like a house of cards,” said Deputy Mayor Andris Ameriks. The cause was not immediately known, but there were reports that a garden was being installed on the roof, with large amounts of soil that may have become waterlogged by rain.

The building collapsed in two stages, according to Rossiya-24, a Russian television news network.

About 6 p.m., when the popular market was busy with people on their way home from work, part of the roof over the main hall collapsed, the network reported. The rest of the roof collapsed later, after rescuers were on the scene attempting to retrieve the injured.

“Some errors must have been made by construction workers,” Ameriks said. “The building is completely destroyed. Now all operative services are working there. Our main concern now is human lives.”

The Latvian army was among those deployed to help with rescue work, RIA Novosti reported.


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