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Latvia's prime minister resigns following tragedy at Riga shopping mall

November 27, 2013, 16:45 UTC+3 RIGA

This decision was taken in connection with the tragedy at Maxima shopping mall in Riga, where the roof collapsed killing 54 people

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RIGA, November 27. /ITAR-TASS/. Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis decided to resign. The prime minister has made a statement to this effect for journalists after a meeting with President Andris Berzins on Wednesday.

Dombrovskis said he had assumed political responsibility for the tragedy at the Maxima trade center in Riga which claimed 54 lives. Latvia needs a government which gains support of the majority in the Latvian Seim and will be able to ensure settlement of the situation which developed in Latvia, the outgoing prime minister said.

The tragedy has broken out at the Maxima shopping mall in Riga, Latvia’s capital, on November 21. 54 people died and another 39 were injured as a result of the collapse of the walls and roof of the building.

The Latvian government should also assume responsibility for this tragedy and the prime minister should think about resignation, Latvian human rights commissioner (head of the human rights bureau) Juris Jansons said earlier.

Latvian Interior Minister Rihards Kozlovskis also stated on Tuesday that he is ready to resign, if those guilty in the the tragedy are not found and are not punished accordingly.

The Minister reminded that the police initiated a criminal case with regards to failure to comply with construction norms, which entails incarceration for four years. Kozlovskis is sure that such punishment for such a tragedy is inappropriate.

“The police is still working on site. Around 100 bags of rubble were given to experts of the Riga Technical University. If all three theories are proven – negligence during calculations, construction or service – then the number of accused will increase. If it’s proven that errors were made deliberately, then the case may be qualified as pre-meditated murder,” the minister said. 

Latvia’s biggest charitable organization ( has raised more than 373,000 Latvian lats (LVL) or about 746, 000 dollars for the people hurt in an accident at Riga’s Maxima trading center and the relatives of those who died in the tragedy that occurred on November 21.


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