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Latvia seeks foreign experts to probe roof collapse

Latvian president Andris Berzins wants foreign experts to investigate what triggered a supermarket collapse in the capital Riga last week.

Fifty-four people were reported to have died and at least seven people are thought to be still missing as a result of the accident.

The collapse happened on Thursday and officials have suggested that materials and soil from a garden being built on the roof could have caused it to fail.

“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,” Berzins told a local broadcaster.

On Saturday the remaining section of the roof caved in.

The collapse happened as an under-construction shopping mall partially collapsed in South Africa.

One person died and another 29 were injured at the collapse in Tongaat, north of Durban.

Tongaat municipality deputy mayor Nomvuzo Shabalala told South African media that authorities had obtained an injunction a month ago to halt construction at the site.

She refused to name the contractor involved, but said the firm had worked in the municipality before.

“There are areas of the law that they [the contractor] did not follow in terms of building,” she told broadcaster ENCA, adding that there were “planning issues”.

“It was a surprise today that they were continuing building,” she said, adding that it was not a failure of the municipality for failing to ensure that work had stopped.

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