Latvian mall collapse also brings down government

27 November 2013

Latvian prime minister Valdis Dombrovskis resigned today after a supermarket collapsed killing 54 people last week.

A spokesperson said the government took "political responsibility" for the tragedy.

Latvian president Andris Berzins has appealed for foreign construction consultants to help in investigating why the building collapsed.

A garden and children’s playground were under construction on the supermarket’s roof when the disaster happened.

A view of the collapsed Maxima supermarket on November 22, 2013 in Riga, Latvia (Dmitrijs Lazarenko/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Berzins told state broadcaster LTV: "While not undermining the professionalism of our builders, I believe that we should call upon international expertise which is in no way connected with our construction business."

The prime minister’s resignation means that his center-right government automatically falls.

Police are investigating the cause of the disaster, with possible explanations including flawed design, substandard construction materials, and corruption.

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