Armed forces called in to sweep Jaunciems cemetery

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The Riga City Council’s Housing and Environment Committee called on National Armed Forces (NBS) bomb disposal units Thursday to sweep the entire Jaunciems Cemetery for possible further unexploded ordinance following Wednesday’s tragic blast, which killed a 60-year old man.

Acting director of the municipal Cemeteries Authority Igors Svincickis explained that no official results have been released from the investigation into the mysterious explosion, but unofficial speculation suggests it could have been an antique device left buried in the ground from the First or Second World Wars.

However, Svincickis discounted the credibility of this guess, because the explosion happened in a territory where burials were begun only in the past two years since 2012.  

It is imperative to check the cemetery grounds as soon as possible, because new burials are scheduled to be taking place there almost every day, he said. Seven funerals proceeded just steps away from the site of the tragedy yesterday, undisturbed by the police and NBS presence on the scene.

As reported, the man had arrived with his wife at the Jaunciems graveyard to tend to a burial site when the explosion happened. The woman was unhurt in the blast and called the emergency services, but her husband died of his injuries before they arrived.

NBS bomb-sweepers determined the presence of shrapnel of unknown origin, as well as fragments of other bomb parts upon inspecting the scene.

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