News

2013.11.22 11:25

Death toll in Maxima supermarket tragedy in Riga increases to 26

DELFI.lt 2013.11.22 11:25

This morning, 26 dead bodies have been recovered from the collapsed Maxima supermarket in the Riga suburb of Zolitude, the news agency LETA was told by State Police press representative Sigita Pildava, writes The Baltic Course.

 This morning, 26 dead bodies have been recovered from the collapsed Maxima supermarket in the Riga suburb of Zolitude, the news agency LETA was told by State Police press representative Sigita Pildava, writes The Baltic Course.

35 people have been injured, of which 28 have been hospitalised, the Emergency Medical Service informed LETA.

Most of the injured persons are between the ages of 25 to 45, State Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman Viktorija Sembele told LETA.

It is not yet known how many people are still under the rubble of the collapsed Maxima supermarket, State Fire and Rescue Service Chief Oskars Abolins told Latvian Television (LTV) this morning.

Huge resources are being put into the rescue operation, as rescuers are doing everything they can to get the trapped people out, writes The Baltic Course. Abolins believes that the rescue operation could continue for another 24 hours, or even longer.

As Abolins points out, the rescuers are working at a high risk object. The condition of the building is being evaluated on a constant basis, so to be sure that other areas of the building do not collapse on the rescuers.

The rescuers use machinery as well as shovels and bare hands to remove the rubble so as to not injure those who are still trapped inside and may be alive.

Maxima Latvija spokesman Janis Beseris told the business information portal Nozare.lv that there was some sort of sound signal before the collapse of the Maxima supermarket last night, but that the details will be determined during the investigation.

Beseris said that what this sound signal was will be determined by the police investigation, and emphasised that the supermarket chain’s representatives have been requested by police not to comment on unofficial information, so not to hinder the investigation.

Beseris could not say how many persons were working in the supermarket at the time of the collapse, but promised to release this information at a later time.