The roof fell on Thursday evening in the Latvian capital of Riga as customers were doing after-work shopping.
The toll in the collapse of the roof of a crowded Latvia supermarket has risen to 52 and the rescue operation has resumed after a temporary halt, rescue workers said on Saturday.
The roof fell on Thursday evening in the Latvian capital of Riga as customers were doing after-work shopping. Some 40 people were wounded, including 13 firefighters, and 29 people were hospitalised as of Saturday morning, the Fire and Rescue Service said.
It was the worst accident in the Baltic country since it regained independence in 1991. The government has declared three days of mourning.
Rescue service spokeswoman Viktorija Sembele said some 300 square meters (3,200 square feet) of ruins approximately one—sixth of the total damaged area remained to be searched.
Sembele said there was a chance more victims could be found in the remaining area, which is particularly dangerous because of the risk of further collapse. Firefighters are working in decreased numbers in that area to minimize the chance of injury.
Rescue workers decided to stop the operation early Saturday and consult with engineers before continuing, she said.
Preliminary reports indicate the roof caved in due to either faulty construction or building activities on the roof, where workers were creating a garden area and children’s playground for a new high-rise residential building adjacent to the supermarket.
Pictures show that a large amount of building materials, including bags of soil for the garden, were left in areas of the roof that, according to Riga city officials, could have been vulnerable to heavy loads.
Police have launched an investigation, which could take several weeks to complete.