The death toll from the collapse of the roof of Maxima supermarket in a residential area of Riga, the capital of Latvia, reached 21 and may continue to grow as rescuers search through the rubble.
Earlier it was reported that at least three victims of the tragedy were rescuers, including the commander of the State Fire and Rescue Service of Latvia, Vilnis Steinitis.
At about 20:00 Moscow time, one of the walls and roof of the building collapsed. Later, when rescuers started to clear the scene from the rubble, another wall collapsed. The area of destruction made up about 500 square meters. As many as 25 people were hospitalized with injuries of various degrees. Other refused to be hospitalized and received first aid on the scene.
According to the Latvian news agency LETA, the tragedy could be caused with the works to create a green planting zone on the roof of the store. The Latvian police opened a criminal case into the fact of violation of construction rules during such works.
Rescue operations were conducted throughout the night and continued in the morning. The army and militia were also attracted to the works.
People may still remain under the rubble. Riga Mayor Nil Ushakov suggested that there could be up to 70 people staying in the building at the time of the collapse.