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Latvia: Country Mourns Deaths Of Children

Riga, 30 June 1997 (RFE/RL) - Today has been declared an official day of mourning in Latvia. On Saturday, eight children were killed and 22 others injured during a demonstration by firefighters in the town of Talsi.

The tragedy occurred after the children climbed into a basket attached to a lifting device operated by the firefighters. After the basket was raised about 20 meters, the hoist collapsed and the basket plunged to the ground in front of some 1,000 spectators.

The Interior Ministry is investigating the accident. President Guntis Ulmanis has expressed his condolences to the families of the victims.