At least 33 killed in Riga supermarket roof collapse
Rescue workers retrieved 33 bodies from the rubble of a supermarket in the Latvian capital Riga on Friday, a day after a large section of its roof collapsed, dpa reported.
The Maxima supermarket in central Riga was full of shoppers when the roof caved in Thursday evening. Latvian media reported that dozens more victims might be found, but officials would only say that the number of missing was unclear.
By 1 pm, just 900 of 1,500 square metres of the affected area had been cleared, fire brigade spokesman Normunds Plegermanis told the BNS news agency. Earlier reports said that the roof had collapsed over an area of 500 square metres.
More than 30 people were injured and hospitals were calling for more blood donations.
Interior Minister Rihards Kozlovskis said it was "a tragic and black day" in the history of Latvia.
Among the dead were also three firemen, who were killed when additional sections of the roof collapsed as they worked.
Witnesses said that they heard an alarm before the roof caved in. Police are investigating the operator of the supermarket, for failure to react to warnings.
Latvian media reported that the roof had been undergoing reconstruction. The building was only completed in 2011.