Estonia toughens construction laws after supermarket collapse disaster

  • 2013-12-05
  • From wire reports, TALLINN

The Estonian government says it has 'toughened' construction supervision laws following the Riga supermarket collapse disaster.

At least 54 people died and dozens were injured after a Maxima supermarket collapsed in Riga on Nov. 21.

"According to the new draft law there is an absolute rule that construction expert analysis has to be independent," economy and communications minister Juhan Parts told reporters.

"We toughened the requirements on independence. Second, it has to work in the working projects stage for more complicated projects. So far, when the main project was made, which is more general, without working drawings, expert analysis was conducted. Now an expert analysis has to be conducted also in the working drawings stage," said Parts.

Postimees Online reports that the new law that regulates the whole construction sphere, reduces bureaucracy connected to presenting and approving a construction project.

Parts said that after the Riga Maxima store roof collapse, the Estonian Technical Supervision Agency has been in very active contact with their Latvian colleagues.

Following the collapse, Estonian experts were convened and now a programme of inspections for bigger and more complicated buildings has been compiled.