3 dead after roof collapse at Latvian store

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RIGA, Latvia (AP) — A large section of a Latvian grocery store's roof where workers were reportedly planting a winter garden collapsed Thursday evening, killing three and injuring at least 30, rescue officials said.

One firefighter was among those killed, and seven were injured after another portion of roof fell on rescue workers as they began searching for survivors in the debris of the Maxima grocery store in Riga, Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman Viktorija Sembele said.

More than a dozen fire brigades and canine units were searching the destroyed building. It was unclear whether anyone was trapped, but the store is in a densely populated part of the capital not far from downtown. Authorities say the accident happened at about 6 p.m. local time, during the after-work rush hour.

Sembele said the cause of the collapse, which included approximately 500 square meters (5,300 square feet) of roof, was not clear. Witnesses have told Latvian media they heard an explosion, but there were reports that a garden with trees and plants was being built on the store's sizeable roof.

Sembele confirmed that there may have been additional construction, which apparently included a large amount of soil and dirt.

 
 
 

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