Inspector: lessons not learned from Zolitude disaster

In a damning indictment of the building industry Friday, Latvia's top buildings inspector said lessons had not been learned from the 2013 Zolitude disaster in which a supermarket roof collapsed, claiming dozens of lives.

Speaking on LTV's morning Rita Panorama news show, state building control office director Peteris Drukis said that although the relevant laws and building regulations had been improved in the wake of the disaster, builders themselves had not learned lessons and still frequently indulged in dangerous practises.

Currently his office is overseeing 90 projects, but sees little evidence of improved methods, Drukis said.

The most common violations relate to the proper processing of paperwork and quality control systems on site, he added.

That frequently leads to a situation in which the materials used end up not being exactly as specified in plans - with cheaper and potentially lower quality materials substituting the correct ones. 

Use of lower-quality and cheaper building materials is believed to have contributed to the causes of the Zolitude disaster, though trials linked to the disaster - Latvia's worst peacetime loss of life - are still ongoing..

In addition, visible irregularities in respect of the same materials that could be blamed Zolitudes tragedy. Thus, the builders are not learned from this tragedy, concludes the State Building Control Office Director.

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