RIGA (AFP) - Latvia's President demanded on Saturday that a supermarket cave-in which killed at least 53 people be treated as murder, while rescuers and investigators combed the ruins for bodies or clues.
Terrifying accounts emerged from survivors of the cave-in at the Maxima store in the capital Riga on Thursday, as anger and suspicion mounted over its causes.
"I was queueing at the cash desk when the roof suddenly caved in. It all happened within a few seconds," said 19-year-old Mr Antons Ryakhin, saying "about 100 people" had been inside with him.
"It was dark but still light enough to see the exit. I ran out. The doors were open, but a lot of rubble fell in front of them - I think that's why some people couldn't get through."
A police spokesman told AFP that 13 people were still reported missing in connection with the collapse, the Baltic state's worst disaster since independence in 1991.
But two days on, hope was dwindling of finding more survivors.
President Andris Berzins told Latvian public television the disaster "must be treated as the murder of many unprotected people", calling for it to be "investigated at maximum speed".
Police investigators could be seen sifting through the rubble alongside rescuers at the site, where the latest body was hauled from the mass of tangled steel and concrete Saturday at dawn.
"Much of the site has been checked but the structures that remain include some of the largest, heaviest blocks which are particularly dangerous," fire and rescue service spokesman Viktorija Sembele told AFP.
The Latvian government confirmed that two Russian citizens were among the victims.
Latvia declared three days of mourning following the disaster, and flags were being flown from houses across the country with a black sash attached.
Speculation as to its causes has centred on the extra weight created by a rooftop garden and playground, and on the possibility that building regulations may have been bent.
"It's probably the same old story - do it cheap and pocket the difference.
But it is ordinary people who pay the real price," Riga taxi driver Arsenijs Smirnovs told AFP.
Maxima spokesman Olga Malaskeviciene told AFP the company had launched safety checks at its 140 other stores in Latvia and plans similar reviews in nearly 300 others in Lithuania and Estonia.
"The cause remains a mystery, but it must be discovered. Obviously if a mistake was made it was a massive one," said Ms Marite Straume, spokesman for Re&Re, the company that did the building work.
"The strange thing is at the time of the collapse we were replacing the heavy rocks that had been there for two winters with much lighter materials to make the garden. The roof was actually getting lighter," she told AFP.
A photograph published by Latvia's Diena daily showed an aerial view of the roof prior to the collapse, covered in soil, shrubbery, a children's playground and construction materials.
"Visually the building looked great but it is more important to get the technical engineering right than the looks," Mr Sergejs Meierovics of the Latvian association of building engineers told AFP.
Part of the roof at the two-year old supermarket crashed down during peak shopping hours around 6pm on Thursday, in the Zolitude district of the Latvian capital.
A second collapse crushed to death the rescuers who had already entered the building.
Thousands of glowing candles and heaps of flowers decked the perimeter crash barriers surrounding the site, placed by a constant stream of shell-shocked residents.
"I don't even know why I'm here. It just seems important. Maybe if there is still someone in there they can feel that we are here," pensioner Normunds Andersons told AFP.
Just days after the Nov 18 independence celebrations, the tragedy snuffed out an upbeat mood in Latvia, with 2014 set to mark its entry into the euro zone and showcase Riga as the European capital of culture.
Books of condolence have been opened at Latvian embassies abroad, while the Latvian government, Riga city council and the Maxima retailer have promised compensation to victims.