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Rescuers stop work in Riga collapsed supermarket till Sunday

November 23, 2013, 22:08 UTC+3 RIGA
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RIGA, November 23, 21:49 /ITAR-TASS/. Rescuers have stopped the work on the site of the collapsed Maxima supermarket in Riga till Sunday, the Interior Ministry’s state secretary, Ilze Petersone, told a news conference.

A decision to this effect was taken after consultations with experts, Petersone said.

Due to the fact that another wall has collapsed it is dangerous to continue the rescue operation, she added.

About seven people can be under the debris, chief of State Police Ints Kuzis said.

The tragedy took place on Thursday, November 21. One of the walls and the roof of the supermarket collapsed. Later, when the area was started to be cleared up from the debris another wall collapsed.

Rescue works have been continuing for 48 hours. At the moment at least 150 rescuers are involved in the works. 

Policemen report fifty-four people, including three rescuers, died in the collapse. At least 40 people received traumas. Among them are 13 rescuers. Twenty-nine people were taken to hospital. Other people refused to go to hospital and received first medical aid on the spot.

Policemen say thirteen people can be under the debris. Riga Mayor Nil Ushakov said up to 16 people could be under the debris.

However, rescuers say there are no chances anyone could be alive.

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