23.11.2013. - News from Zolitūde, Latvia, where the roof of the supermarket ‘Maxima’ fell in on more than 70 people.
The count of people found dead has raised to 52 people, 2 of them not identified. 29 people hospitalized, 11 firemen have gotten hurt in the search for survivors.
Around 300 square meters still need to be cleared away, that is what the rescuers tell us, but the searching will get more difficult from this point out. The perimeter left to check is very unstable. The building structure is very complicated and hose parts that haven’t fallen off have cracked, creating the possibility of another irruption. The process of cleaning away the rubble was halted during the early hours - 08:52 (8:52 AM) -, because the risk was too great. Now, though, since 09:59 (9:59 AM) the process has resumed.
16 kids have lost one of their parents; 3 have lost both of them.
Food has been delivered to the pace of accident for the people waiting behind barriers. Some haven’t left the scene since it happened more than 42 hours ago.
The hope still hasn’t died, as the authorities still think some survivors could be found.
All around the perimeter, on both sides of the barriers there thousands of candles and flowers placed.
Even tough it’s not part of their job, the policemen on the scene are helping people in finding a place where to put their candles and flowers, helping others to light them.
The unity of people are something that no words can describe, as total strangers just comfort those in need and the youth are helping in making sure everyone get’s a cup of warm tea or coffee and something to eat.
The most recent news - 29 hours have passed by, 51 people have been found dead, around 40 injured. 3 people haven’t been identified. 9 kids have been left without parents. Third bloodiest incident in Europe in the last 20 years
Mother of three daughters have been missing ever since the roof collapsed, and the eldest daughter is still waiting behind the barrier, hoping to see her mommy again.
Kids from the near-by schools have lost parents, sisters and brothers.
All over the country, next to different “Maxima” shops people are placing candles and flowers.
Several times through-out the day, the people removing the rubble turned off all machines and spent several minutes listening for any signs of life.
Due to the shortage on donor blood, the donor hospital sent out a message asking fr people to donate blood. Within couple of hours more than thousand people had already assembled from different parts of the country, in hopes of helping in some way. There were so many people that the hospital personnel sent them all home, telling the to come back next week.
Policemen helped people from behind the barriers in placing the flowers next to the ruins of the supermarket.
Within couple of hours a phone line was created, where people could call and ask if their families were found, where they could give information on the people that they knew were in the building when it collapsed.
Up to this moment, in the time span of 29 hours, money was raised that at the moment is more than 45,000.00 LVL, which equals 86,753.68 USD.
Many many people went to churches today to pray and share their grief with the families that suffered from this tragedy.
The firemen that were searching for the people were working non-stop. When the next shift arrived, they needed to forcibly make the last shift leave the scene so they could rest. No one wanted to stop working, for hope still remained.
To save time, the firemen took very short breaks in which they quickly ate McDonald’s or something like that - all they cared about was regaining enough energy to carry on the search.
A woman from underneath the rubble sent her husband a text message, saying her goodbyes.
During several ‘quiet moments’ the desperate people behind the barriers called their loved ones to their mobile phones. The ringtones echoed around the debris, but most people were found dead or phones were lying around, and their owner - no-where in sight.
Watching the news is something hard. There they show the thousands of candles lit, the weeping families. A woman came from the other side of the country, just to find out about he daughter that went missing after the roof collapsed. And the scary part? It’s dead silent. No one speaks, as they have nothing to say. Only the noises of the rescue machinery producing it’s rhythmic noise. But the people aren’t speaking.
Dozens upon dozens of people have been waiting the whole night for more information on the people underneath the debris; waiting, hoping and praying that their loved ones will come out of the chaos breathing. Many of them clutching the pictures of their dear family close to hearts and wishing with all their might to see the faces of their close ones once more.
1500 square meters of rubble decked over the place; little hope of left, but that little is still shining brightly, not giving up.
Many people brought flowers and candles, to show that they too were mourning for the loss of others. Some people brought food and warm tea for those despaired people still waiting hopefully to see their family being carried out. A unity of people that is only experienced in the gravest of tragedies.
Tomorrow at 12 AM local time (GMT +2) there will be a moment of silence held to honor all the people who didn’t survive.