Ceiling caves in at Rīga Central Station café

On Thursday, December 2 afternoon at Riga Central Station, the ceiling of the café "Sala" fell in, according to the the State Fire and Rescue Service (VUGD) and Latvian Television (LTV).

The VUGD received a call at 14:22. Around 100 people were evacuated from the building, and one person needed assistance from the emergency team. Luckily it appears not to be the same sort of catastrophic structural collapse as occured in the 2013 Zolitude disaster.

 

Latvian Television reports that the ceiling collapsed into the “Sala” café of the Origo mall in the station building. Construction work on the Rail Baltica railway line is taking place nearby.

The VUGD said that the hazardous area is cordoned off. Train movement has not been affected.

Rail Baltica construction implementer BeReRix said in a statement that, according to the initial investigation, the collapse happened due to construction vehicles driving over a ventilation shaft which was not visible, and later found to be documented in blueprints from the 1950s.

The BeReRix representative called the incident an 'unfortunate coincidence'. 

"From the safety viewpoint, most or actually everything has been complied with. Trains go over there every day and a train is much heavier. The vehicle apparently hit a local opening. We have just now found blueprints from the 1950s where there is shown a small ventilation shaft," said the representative Andis Linde.

"Causes of the accident are currently being carefully analyzed in order to make a decision on further action," explained BeReRix, stating that the priority is currently “safety at the site and condoning off”.

As recently as November 26, the Origo mall won an award as the "Best shopping center in the Baltics".

 

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