Latvia stunned by loss of life in supermarket roof collapse

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Latvia stunned by loss of life in supermarket roof collapse

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At least 18 people have now died, 36 are injured and many more are feared trapped after a supermarket roof suddenly collapsed. It happened in the Latvian capital Riga on Thursday evening while many people were shopping on their way home from work.

Most of the injured people have been taken to hospital.

This eyewitness described the chaos:

“Some tube exploded because there was construction work taking place on the roof of the supermarket. They were building a playground for children. Obviously they did something wrong and the roof did not hold this.”

Three of the dead are firefighters who were killed when another part of roof fell as they searched for survivors.

The prime minister visited the scene.

“Police have started the investigation already. The criminal process will investigate possible construction violations which may have caused serious consequences,” said Valdis Dombrovskis.

The supermarket was built in 2011. It was even nominated for an architectural award.

On Friday morning police dogs joined the search for people trapped under the rubble, and it is feared the death toll will rise.