Zolitude disaster due to ‘inappropriate structures’

Investigators have attributed the tragic collapse of the Maxima supermarket building last November 21 to “inappropriate structures”, according to information obtained Wednesday by Latvian public media.

The shopping center was undergoing preparations for erecting a recreational area on its roof, where soil was being stored for spreading out over its surface. The building collapsed because the two-section structures were inappropriately connected and could not hold the added load of the roof-works.

During the construction period the two-part structures, which are connected by screws, replaced the unified piece that had originally been planned – this was determined to be the cause of the tragedy.

Police are pursuing two ongoing criminal investigations of possible violations of the state construction codes as well as of work-safety regulations.

The comprehensive report on the results of the criminal investigation is expected toward the end of autumn.

Fifty-four persons lost their lives when the roof of the supermarket caved in over shoppers after safety alarms had been triggered without prompting any evacuation.

The tragic disaster led to the resignation of prime minister Valdis Dombrovskis, who assumed responsibility for the poorly-overseen regulatory context that was widely cited as the reason behind the catastrophe.

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