45 dead in grocery roof collapse in Latvia

45 dead in grocery roof collapse in Latvia

RIGA - The Associated Press
45 dead in grocery roof collapse in Latvia

Rescuers search for survivors on Nov. 21under the rubble at the Maxima supermarket in Riga, after a roof collapsed. Four people were killed and around 30 others injured when the roof of a supermarket collapsed in a suburb of Latvia's capital Riga, emergency services said. AFP photo

Latvian police say the number of dead from a supermarket roof collapse has risen to 45.

Spokesman Toms Sadovskisk says officials expect the death toll at the sprawling Maxima supermarket in Riga to rise further.

He said Friday the number of injured remains at 35 and that nine of the dead are still unidentified.

Rescue workers were keeping up their round-the-clock search for possible survivors Friday. They were periodically turning off all equipment and asking relatives of missing people to call so they could hear ringing cellphones in the rubble.

Firefighters suffered casualties when large sections of roof fell on them right after their arrival on the scene.

The rescue service estimated that approximately 500 square meters (5,300 square feet) of roof collapsed, destroying large sections of the store's high walls and nearly all its front windows.

The building was completed in November 2011. The Lithuania-owned Maxima was reportedly renting the space.

Maxima officials refused to comment and said that they would release a statement later.

The supermarket is located in a densely populated neighborhood between downtown Riga and the city's airport.