Eight people died in a fire in an illegal hostel on Merķeļa Street 8, and another victim later died in the hospital. Some victims were burned beyond recognition making identification difficult.
Police announced on 10 June that seven out of nine people were identified, and all were Latvian citizens. Initially, it was speculated that among the victims could have been a number of foreign nationals as the hostel was known to house many foreigners. The police have now identified the remaining two victims, who are also Latvian citizens.
Rescuers evacuated 24 people from the building. Of these, six victims were taken to the hospital with moderate injuries.
In connection with the deadly fire, a total of six people have been detained. The criminal proceedings underway concern the intentional violation of fire safety regulations leading to deaths and running a business without registration or without a special permit.
As reported earlier by LSM, authorities had had the illegal hostel on their radar for a while. Arbitrary construction, ignoring fire safety requirements, illegal business, epidemiological security violations, ongoing conflicts between customers and complaints from neighbors were all noted, according to State Police (VP) and State Fire and Rescue Service (VUGD), but no one stopped the business operating.