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Second person resigns from supermarket collapse investigation group

  • 2013-12-19
  • From wire reports, RIGA

Baiba Rubesa said she resigned over the groups failed start (photo via delfi.lv)

A second person has resigned from a special investigation committee probing the Riga supermarket collapse that killed 54 people last month.

Businesswoman Baiba Rubesa said she stepped down from the Zolitude tragedy investigative commission on Dec. 19 after taking responsibility for its failed start. 

Ms Rubesa said: "I apologize to all who put their trust in me, and all who I have let down. Heartfelt thanks to those hundreds of selfless people who are still continuing to help the tragedy victims and their loved ones," 

Janis Kazocins, chair of the committee stepped down on Dec. 18 over controversy over comments about how much money the group would need to sustain its activities.

His calls sparked controversy from members of the public including attorney Aldis Gobzems, a member of the "Don't Be Indifferent, Be Responsible!" movement who said the need for remuneration was shocking.

Gobzens said renumeration wasn't necessary after thousands of people came forward with volunteer contributions for the investigation and the victims of the tragedy. 

Besides Kazocins and Rubesa, the commission also includes former Riga Regional Court Judge Inara Steinerte and former Transparency International-Latvia representative Inese Voika.

Outgoing Latvian Prime Minister Dombrovskis will meet with commission members next week or at the beginning of 2014 to discuss the situation and agree on solutions, reports LETA.

The commission was set up to assess the direct and indirect causes of the tragedy, the rescue process, the efficiency of rescuers, police officers and medics, officials, as well as construction regulations in civil defense.

A total of 54 people died and several dozen were injured as a Maxima supermarket in Riga's Zolitude neighborhood collapsed on Nov. 21.