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Companies involved in Maxima reconstruction in Riga don’t see their fault

BC, Riga, 22.11.2013.Print version
All of the companies involved in the construction and upgrades of the Maxima supermarket on Priedaines Street in Riga claim that they have not violated any regulations, informs LETA/

All of the companies involved in the construction and upgrades of the "Maxima XX" supermarket on Priedaines Street in Riga claim that they have not violated any regulations.

At a press conference today, the companies' representatives said that they had checked all the documents pertaining to the project and the responsibility of every person on site, and have established no violations.


Construction company Re&Re representative Marite Straume said experts would determine the cause of the tragedy, therefore none of the theories the police have put forward cannot be discarded - faulty design, errors during the construction process, improper maintenance.

Re&Re has requested the Latvian Architects' Association to set up an independent expert team to examine the building's design, materials used in construction of the building, and the construction process, said Straume.

She added that metal structures for the building had been supplied and installed by Vikom Industry, whereas roof panels – by Consolis.

Construction supervisory company CE Consulting representative Markuss Molls said that experts would determine if there had been any violations on site. However, the site was last inspected on Tuesday, and no violations were ascertained.

"All internal processes were checked, no violations were established. On Tuesday, while inspecting the roof, we also checked the thickness of substrata on that part of the roof that later caved in, and it did not exceed 15 centimeters, which is the thickness stipulated in the construction project," said Molls.

He also said that samples of metal structures and concrete used in construction of the Maxima mall were checked on a regular basis, and no deviations had been ascertained.

The participants in the press conference also said it was not right to believe that there was too many construction supplies on the roof of the building. Most of the supplies were on the ground next to the building, and those on the roof were of total weight that the building was designed to bear.

Subcontractor Gartens had completed the greenery work on the roof of the building by 80-90% by Thursday, and the project was to end on November 29, said Re&Re Technical Director Aldis Gulbis.

"On Thursday, they were working on that section of the roof that did not cave in, whereas greenery work on the collapsed section had been completed last weekend," said Gulbis.

According to initial inspections, everything had been proceeding in accordance with the project and no rules or regulations were violated.

Ivars Sergets, the owner of HND Grupa that designed the project, said that the supermarket's roof was supposed to bear loads equal to 1.5 tons per square meter – and these loads had not been exceeded. The building – just like all others in Latvia – was designed so it could withstand magnitude six earthquakes.

"For the past two years, there was a 15-centimeter layer of pebbles on the roof. On top of it, there was a layer of snow every winter, which was not cleared. After the pebble layer was removed, it was replaced by a much-lighter layer of substratum," stressed Sergets.


The Maxima supermarket chain will carry inspections at every one of its stores in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. The company also intends to pay out compensation to all, the head of Maxima Latvija Gintaras Jasinskas said in a press conference today. Jasinskas could not say anything at the moment regarding the amount of compensations.


He said that the inspections at the Maxima stores will be carried out within the next two months.


According to Jasinskas, there were approximately 30 Maxima employees in the supermarket at the time, two of which are dead and another two missing.


The Maxima store chain confirmed on Friday that in the light of the Riga tragedy it will give special attention to its real estate in Estonia, LETA/Postimees Online reports.


Maxima Eesti brand and communications department director Ty Lehtmäe said that the store chain doesn’t have stores in Estonia in a building with similar construction or architecture. "This building was unique, both in Latvia and in all Baltic states," she said about the store building in Riga that collapsed on Thursday. "Maxima has no cooperation in Estonia with the real estate developer or the builder of that store."

Lehtmäe said that in all Maxima stores, regular annual technical inspection is conducted, both regarding the construction as well as the roof and alarm systems.


"We cannot speculate what the cause of the tragedy in Riga was, since only an investigation can find out that," said Lehtmäe. "In case based on the analysis of investigation results, it will be necessary to implement some measures, then we will certainly do it at once."


"As one reaction to the Riga tragedy, we will still give special attention to the Estonian real state used by Maxima," she promised.


Lehtmäe expressed condolences to the families of the victims and wished those who were injured a fast recovery.


As reported, more than forty people were killed and dozens injured as the roof of the Maxima store on Priedaines Street in Riga collapsed Thursday evening.

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