Roof collapses at a busy Canadian mall in Northern Ontario

Roof collapses at busy Canadian mall

A roof has partially collapsed at a busy shopping mall in Canada, prompting an evacuation and a search for anyone who might have been injured.

A portion of the roof that serves as a parking area crumbled, exposing metal and concrete supports as Algo Centre Mall in northern Ontario bustled with weekend shoppers.

Police spokeswoman Christine Ouimet said police did not yet know whether anyone has been injured or if there was anyone missing.

The collapse also triggered a gas leak and prompted emergency officials to shut off the mall's power.

Emergency officials quickly cleared out the mall and closed surrounding roads.

Mayor Rick Hamilton declared a state of emergency soon after the collapse.

Joe Drazil, a Zellers store employee, said several cars appeared to have fallen through the gaping hole near some escalators.

"You can see the roof with the cars hanging inside," he said.

"Everybody was cleared from the whole mall. After that, there was numerous police and emergency vehicles coming from all over."

The two-level mall is approximately 18,580 square metres. It houses a grocery store, restaurants, a number of retail outlets, a hotel, and the constituency office for a member of the provincial parliament.

Calls to the management office at the mall were not immediately returned. Calls to the Algo Inn hotel attached to the mall were not answered.

Labour ministry to assess damage in roof collapse Staff

Date: Sat. Jun. 23 2012 9:50 PM ET

The Ministry of Labour will have to assess the damage caused by a massive roof collapse in northern Ontario before any rescue efforts can get underway.

Elliot Lake Mayor Rick Hamilton told CTV News Channel that he could not confirm how many people were injured after a large portion of the roof at Algo Centre Mall collapsed shortly after 2 p.m. Saturday.

"We'll be meeting with the Ministry of Labour to conduct a site assessment before moving ahead with any debris removal or possible rescues at this point," Hamilton said.

"We can't confirm at this point because we're unable to get into the site to determine whether or not there are any people in the site itself."

The mayor said emergency crews were waiting for a 10-member urban extraction team from southern Ontario to arrive at the scene before re-entering the mall. The team was to arrive by 9:30 p.m. local time.

Asked about whether he was aware of safety concerns about the mall's infrastructure prior to the roof collapse, Hamilton said that will be discussed by city staff after the damage is assessed.

Elliot Lake OPP asked anyone who thought their family or friends might be missing to report to an information centre that had been set up at the mall.

"We have OPP officers there along with vicars and critical incident stress people that are there to assist them. And we want to know if there is anyone missing," said OPP Const. Marilyn Cameron.

A portion of the roof serves as a parking area for customers. Photos from the scene show crumbled heaps of concrete and metal covering the mall's floor.

The cave-in caused a gas leak and prompted emergency crews to shut off the centre's power, evacuate the mall and close surrounding roads.

A reporter with the Elliot Lake Standard told News Channel that the mall was plagued with a leaky roof for years.

"A year or two ago they did quite a bit of renovations and most of the leaks were plugged," Kevin McSheffrey told News Channel in a telephone interview. "But walking around some of the stores on a rainy day you could still see some buckets on the floors to catch the runoff."

McSheffrey was at the mall at the time of the collapse and said shoppers were helping individuals who had suffered minor injuries out of the mall.

"They had cuts bruises, these kinds of things," he said.

Local resident Jean-Marc Hayward said he was in the mall's food court when he saw a slab of concrete fall from above.

"Some people got hit by debris. One older gentleman was hit in the face, I could see he was bleeding," Hayward told News Channel.

"A lot of people were scared and I imagine there are still some looking for loved ones," said Hayward, adding that the mall's lottery booth was completely crushed by the falling concrete.

Just before 4 p.m. Hamilton declared a state of local emergency.

Elliot Lake is a small city of 11,300 in Algoma District, located about two hours west of Sudbury.

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Comment by astrogal50 on June 25, 2012 at 7:16pm

I wonder if the many Baby Boomers (including myself) who remember when things were different are driving the cover-up artists to distraction.  Yes, younger adults have some memories of how the earth was before Planet X/Nibiru arrived in the inner solar system, but they do not have decades as adults reading/watching the mainstream media.

When roofs collpased in the past there was almost always a reasonable explanation eventually provided (for example, something crashed through or the weight of snow/collected rain on a roof).  Roofs of malls, bridges, walls, cranes, scaffolding, stages, pedestrian walkways, dams, train tracks, etc. did not suddenly collapse for no reason!  Now they do, regularly.

Comment by Jorge on June 24, 2012 at 12:27pm

This shows the signs of a stretch zone incident


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