Man dies in Rīga after being hit by ice slab

A man has died after being hit by a falling chunk of ice in Rīga, the municipal police reported on December 14.

On December 13, Rīga Municipal Police received information that a man had lost his life due to falling ice from the roof of a privately owned building in Riga, Latgale suburb. Criminal proceedings have been initiated and investigations are ongoing, during which the liability of the owner of the building will be assessed.

Police warn building owners that under no circumstances should the ice be relied upon to melt by itself, nor should the owners wait for police to call or impose a penalty.

If the building presents a hazard, the homeowner must take immediate action to prevent the danger, police stressed.

In total, in the last days of November and in the first two weeks of December, police in Riga have detected 289 cases in which icicles have not been cleared from roofs and 279 cases in which dangerous ice and snow slabs form on rooftops. 

At the same time, policemen are also urging residents not only to report dangerous spots but also to look up occasionally when moving around the city to avoid hazards. The legal instruments available to the police provide for the possibility to commence administrative infringement proceedings against the homeowner or to issue an act regarding the duty to clean the roof within a specified time.

Reports of one fatality, two injuries, and more than 31 damaged vehicles due to falling ice have been received by Rīga Municipal Police this season.

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