Latvian prime minister resigns over roof collapse

Latvian prime minister resigns over roof collapse

Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis resigned Wednesday, taking "political responsibility" for the collapse of a supermarket roof that killed 54 people last week, dpa reported.

Dombrovskis announced his resignation after meeting President Andris Berzins.

"I wish to thank Latvian society for its support during the trying period when the country was battling the economic and financial crisis to return to the path of growth. I also apologize for all that we have failed to achieve," he said.

Dombrovskis took over as prime minister in March 2009, then for the second term in October 2011.

The roof of the "Maxima" supermarket in Riga killed 54 people on November 21, in the greatest loss of life since the former Soviet republic claimed independence in 1991.

Latvian police chief Ints Kuzis gave three possible reasons for the collapse: the structure of the building had been poorly analysed, ongoing construction, and poor planning. Interior Minister Rihards Kozlovskis had spoken of possible violations of building codes.

Firms involved in the construction of the supermarket said on Saturday that their work was not to blame for the roof collapse, stating that an inspection of the building including the roof had been carried out on November 19, two days before the collapse.

The building was only completed in 2011.

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