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A deadly fire has broken out at a shelter in the Latvian capital: Police Latvian news

Police said at least eight people were killed and nine others injured in a fire that broke out at an illegal shelter in Riga.

At least eight people were killed and nine injured in a fire that broke out in an illegal shelter in the Latvian capital on Wednesday morning, Riga police and local authorities said.

“Eight people have been killed and nine injured in a deadly fire at the shelter,” Latvian police chief Andrejs Grishins told reporters in the capital.

He added that DNA tests will be used to identify the victims.

“The bodies are so burnt that we can’t know which country they belong to. Their documents have been set on fire.

“Foronists and experts will try to establish their identities but long DNA tests will have to be done,” Grishins said.

Another 24 were taken out of the fire, on the sixth floor, after emergency services were called at 4:43 a.m. (01:43 GMT) in a statement from the State Fire and Rescue Service.

According to the BNS news agency, the police have launched a criminal investigation.

‘Illegal’ hostel

“The shelter on the sixth floor of a state-owned building was illegal,” Riga Mayor Martins Stakis wrote a tweet after visiting the site.

Residents living near the shelter have been told by local media that they have provided services to people who abuse drugs and alcohol.

Interior Minister Sandis Girgens has confirmed that since January, firefighters have prevented regular security checks on the building.

“They had thick steel doors installed, and the shelter did not allow our official firefighters to enter,” Girgens told local media.

Authorities decided to close the illegal shelter, but a fire broke out before the decision was complied with.

The mayor said the shelter was called the Japanese Style Centrum. Photos of the premises on show well-placed beds in the small rooms in the attic.

“The rooms looked like a shoe box,” the Spanish Sofia wrote in a review on her website after being in the shelter in February.

Another study by a Latvian Viktorija, who was there in March, said the room had no windows and no ventilation, while others talked about long-term residents living with visiting tourists.

“People who sleep on the stairs,” an anonymous Australian reviewer wrote in December. The hostel did not immediately respond to questions submitted via the consultation form on the website.

Picturesque hotels and hostels in the Baltic states have been free to operate throughout the COVID pandemic, but the number of foreign visitors has dropped significantly. 1.9 million countries have experienced 2,106 deaths from the virus, as daily cases have risen recently but are still below the January peak.

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