At least 47 dead in grocery roof collapse in Latvia


Associated Press

Posted on November 22, 2013 at 9:32 AM

Updated Friday, Nov 22 at 9:37 AM

RIGA, Latvia (AP) — At least 47 people are now confirmed dead in the collapse of a roof at a supermarket in the capital of Latvia.

Hordes of shoppers were picking up food after work at the supermarket in Riga when an enormous section of the roof caved in. Firefighters rushed in to save them, only to be crushed themselves when a second part of the roof collapsed.

Three firefighters are among the dead. Police say the death toll is expected to go even higher. In addition to those who died, another 35 people were injured.

Rescue workers are continuing the search for possible survivors. They've been periodically turning off all of their equipment and asking relatives of the missing to call their cell phones so they can try to locate them that way.

The search is proceeding slowly, since both the rubble and the remaining sections of the roof are fragile.

%@AP Links

170-c-13-(Gary Peach, AP correspondent)-"there on top"-AP correspondent Gary Peach reports that over recent days workers had been constructing a garden on the roof as part of the supermarket's design plan. (22 Nov 2013)

<<CUT *170 (11/22/13)££ 00:13 "there on top"

169-c-12-(Gary Peach, AP correspondent)-"of the firefighters"-AP correspondent Gary Peach reports that as well as the death toll among Latvians shopping in the store, rescue workers died when a second section of roof collapsed on top of them. (22 Nov 2013)

<<CUT *169 (11/22/13)££ 00:12 "of the firefighters"

GRAPHICSBANK: Maxima logo, grocery chain, graphic element on gray (22 Nov 2013)

APPHOTO MOSB169: People come to lay flowers and light candles in front of the Maxima supermarket in Riga, Friday, Nov. 22, 2013. Hordes of shoppers were picking up food after work in the Latvian capital when an enormous section of the supermarket's roof caved in. The death toll from the rush-hour disaster Thursday evening at the Maxima supermarket in Riga rose to 47 on Friday. (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis) (22 Nov 2013)

<<APPHOTO MOSB169 (11/22/13)££

APPHOTO MOSB164: A view of collapsed Maxima supermarket in Riga, Latvia, Friday, Nov. 22, 2013. At least 32 people died, including three firefighters, after an enormous section of roof collapsed at a Latvian supermarket in the country's capital, emergency medical officials said Friday. The reason for the collapse during shopping rush-hour Thursday was still not known but rescue and police officials said that possible theories include building's design flaws and poor construction work. (AP Photo/ Oksana Dzadan) (22 Nov 2013)

<<APPHOTO MOSB164 (11/22/13)££