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Security personnel of collapsed mall thought emergency signal malfunctioned

November 22, 2013, 20:21 UTC+3 MOSCOW

47 people died in the accident

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MOSCOW, November 22, 17:06 /ITAR-TASS/. RIGA, November 22. /ITAR-TASS/. Security personnel of the collapsed Maxima mall may not have reacted the way they should have after an emergency system sounded an alarm. Member of the board of directors for the Maxima retail chain Gintaras Jasinskas announced at a special press conference that the emergency alarm sounded several times. However, security personnel thought that it malfunctioned due to welding works which were being performed in the building’s basement.

After the initial inspection of the alarm and a ruling made by a security guard that welding probably threw the system off, the alarm jammed and would not stop signaling. The officials said that they called the alarm service company, but before servicemen arrived, the roof has collapsed.

Video surveillance was used to create a map where people may be buried in the rubble; it’s currently used for rescue efforts. 47 people have died in the collapse, including 3 rescue workers. 33 were admitted to hospitals. 25 people may still be buried in the rubble. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin has sent a condolence telegram to Latvian President Andris Berzins in connection with the Riga shopping centre building collapse, which caused deaths of people, the Kremlin press service said.

The Russian leader expressed sympathy and support for relatives and friends of the victims and wished the injured people soonest recovery.

The tragedy occurred in Riga late on Thursday. A wall and the roof of the building collapsed, and later another wall collapsed when rescuers were working at the site. According to updated information, 37 people, including three rescuers, died. Ten rescuers are also among 40 injured people.

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