Death Toll at 52 in Latvian Mall Collapse

© RIA Novosti . Oksana Djadan / Go to the photo bankThe grocery store collapce in Riga
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The number of victims in the collapse of a superstore in Latvia’s capital Riga rose to 52, the European country’s state rescue service said Saturday.

RIGA, November 23 (RIA Novosti) – The number of victims in the collapse of a superstore in Latvia’s capital Riga rose to 52, the European country’s state rescue service said Saturday.

The search for bodies was put on hold Saturday because the still unexamined 300 square meters of rubble were unstable and posed danger for rescuers, a police spokeswoman said.

Riga Mayor Nils Usakovs tweeted late Friday that at least five more people could still be under the ruins. He put the figure at 30 earlier the same day.

Usakovs dismissed reports about 13 survivors pending rescue one of whom, according to rumors on Latvian social media, managed to place a call to police from under the rubble.

Forty people were injured in the collapse, 29 requiring hospitalization.

Police named design flaw, construction error and overloading of the roof, which stored construction supplies, as three possible reasons behind the collapse of the mall, built in 2011.

A three-day national mourning period started in Latvia on Saturday. The neighboring Estonia also declared a morning day on Saturday out of solidarity with the fellow Baltic nation.

 

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