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2019.10.25 16:30

Fire in Alytus shows Lithuania not prepared to deal with critical incidents, president says

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda is set to hold a meeting on the management of emergency situations and crises next week.

In a statement on Friday, the presidential office said the large-scale fire Alytus showed that the state was not prepared for critical incidents.

The meeting will be also attended by Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis, Alytus Mayor Nerijus Cesiulis and Saulius Greičius, the head of the Fire and Rescue Department, the statement said.

Nausėda said there was a lack of systemic preparation and smooth inter-institutional cooperation once the fire broke out in Alytus and a danger to people's health emerged.

"The head of state sees the need to amend the legal base, reduce bureaucratic obstacles to provide timely assistance to resident and also resolve technical supply issues," the statement reads.

Read more: Lithuanians stage mock evacuations to train for nuclear accident – photos

The fire at Ekologistika's tire storage facility in Alytus, covering an area of 2,000 square meters, broke out on October 16 and took days to extinguish.

Interior Minister Rita Tamašunienė also came under fire for, what the critics said, inaedquate handling of the emergency situation. Over 27,000 signed a petition for her resignation.

Read more: Interior minister under pressure to resign following fire in Alytus