[Attention] Elliot Lake Ontario Canada Algo Centre Mall Roof Collapses Saturday June 23rd 2012

Lady of Light

In light of recent events, this is news that needs to be reported here on Unhypnotize. All of Canada has heard about this story by now and as a country, we are all deeply concerned as to the well-being of the people that were trapped in the building under the rubble. So it must be reported here.

On Saturday June 23[SUP]rd[/SUP], 2012, the Algo Centre Mall in Elliot Lake Ontario had a cave-in of part of its roof. The roof, which is the main parking for the mall, was in bad shape and was in serious need of repair.The collapse took place at around 2:30 in the afternoon. It has been reported that 22 people have suffered injury as a result of the roof collapsing, from falling debris, and as of now, 12 people are reported to be missing. The number of unaccounted for people has fluctuated since the time of the incident, and it has been reported that only 2 names have never been off of the list. Those 2 people were reported to have been in the mall at the time of the cave-in and their cars were the only ones left in the parking lot after all others cleared the premisis. The police are reporting that there is 1 confirmed death; I’m not sure if that is the person with the severed appendages. There was a tapping sound coming from the rubble early Monday morning but was not heard since.

By Monday evening, the search was called off, even though now it is said by Elliot Lake mayor Rick Hamilton that they never “called-off” the search. The heavy rescue team from Toronto was advised by 2 engineers that the building was “unstable” and the escalators (where the roof fell) were separating from the building and could collapse at anytime and were surprised that it hadn’t fallen yet. The urban rescue crew (who had only 10 years practice – 1 actual rescue for experience) was ready to pack up and go back to Toronto.

The mall, which in May of this year, was signed off by inspectors as being in OK shape as structural support goes. Yet, the patrons and the workers in the mall had been complaining for years about the leaks when it would rain, or when the snow and ice would melt. There are many Elliot Lake residents that have told stories of the buckets lining the floors on these occasions to catch the drips from the roof parking lot, and even how Zellers would tarp their shelves to prevent damage to their merchandise. Nothing was ever done (except minor asphalt repair) to fix the problem. You can see the video from immediately after the roof collapse, as well as some pictures below.

Mall patron’s video (I’m guessing it was from a cell phone):

Photos can be seen here:
Scenes from the Elliot Lake mall collapse - The Globe and Mail

It is, at this time being said that 2 vehicles fell through the roof as well. I believe those have been removed. I hope those have been removed.

There are still victims alive in that structure, and they need help. The townspeople want to go in and help, this includes Miners (as this was once a booming mining town) who are willing to sign waivers to not sue just so they can go in and rescue their own. “We never leave a man behind.” Miners stick together to help each other out. None of the people who want to go in there and risk their lives are being allowed near the building.

Dalton McGuinty was called and he made them find another way to get to those trapped in the wreckage, and so, after hours of wasted time, equipment was called in and arrived in Elliot Lake Tuesday night and started in on the work.

The plan was, with the robotic arm crane that can apparently reach 150 feet, they were to knock down the escalators away from the area where the survivors were known to be, hopefully making it safe for rescue workers and rescue dogs to go in to look for the buried people. But there was a setback, the crane couldn’t quite get in where it needed to be, so instead, they’ve been taking chunks out of the building to get in there to do what they can for those poor folks who have been trapped since Saturday afternoon.

Because I just want to get this news posted, I will leave it at this for now, but I will add to this when more information is available, and I will fill in what I left out at that time.

I am outraged at this whole situation. It’s terrible that this had to happen. Now the mall will be demolished, and this is terrible for the city. Elliot Lake is a small town and this was their hub; everything was in there, just about. The next town (Sudbury) is 2 hours away at best. With an indication that there is someone alive, how can these “rescuers” just leave even though the building “may” crash down more? They are in a position to save lives at any cost, yet they won’t do it at any cost because they refust to actually risk their lives, which is their job.

I feel for those people who are trapped in there with no food, no water, and most likely no ability to move or call out for help. Aside from the 1 person who was doing the tapping, there is no indication of any life under the rubble, but I feel there is something still there. There is still life. And there is still HOPE!

I will update soon. Please, don’t let these people be forgotten. Let them come out alive. And let this be a lesson for responders to emergency here in Canada.

Lady of Light

The heavy equipment crews worked throughout the night and within a few hours, the robotic arm had cleared enough wall to get to the escalator that they couldn't reach the first try. They removed the escalator and crews were allowed to go in. Apparently just after 8AM this morning (Wednesday June 27th 2012), the first body, that of Lucie Aylwin (age 37) was recovered from the debris. Lucie, could be heard tapping as late as Monday morning, just hours before search and rescue teams had called off the search. Had the crews continued to work, or even if they had called in the proper equipment sooner, Lucie would still be with us today. Lucie, who only worked at the lotto kiosk on Saturdays and at the moment of collapse was said to have been filling in for a co-worker who had just seconds before stepped out for a break. Lucie also worked for the College Boreal with their employment services.

The second victim Dolores Perizzolo (nee Dumas) was found a few hours later, sometime between 12pm and 1pm (I’m getting information from various news reports). Dolores (in her early 70s), according to reports was not in good health and was a diabetic. She was (according to witnesses) “scratching Nevada tickets at the lotto booth” at the time of the deadly cave-in.

The response to this disaster was not handled the way a disaster / rescue should be handled, instead it was handled by the burocrats. Burocrats are not rescuers, and should not be involved when it comes to rescue operations. There were many many eager volunteers aware of the risks and willing to risk their lives in order to save that 1 confirmed survivor as of Monday. The problem was with the officials not allowing these volunteer access to the building because of “safety issues”.

In any other country in this world, volunteers are able to jump in there and help in a rescue effort no matter what, but not here in Canada, apparently. It was a police-run operation. Police are not rescuers and have no business in there. This should have been handled by actual professionals.

The details of this so-called rescue attempt are said to be subject to review to make sure that next time a disaster happens, big or small, it will be dealt with properly and not handled the way this fiasco was handled in Elliot Lake. Protocols need to be in place and people need to know what is available in a situation like this and what they can do.

I read a comment on one of the news sources today that I need to share because it is too important to let fall into the abyss of the internet.

A man by the name of Keith, had this to say:
Takes 6 hours to secure a building
Being an engineer and demolition man myself, I can tell you that even in a partially collapsed building you can successfully secure the building within 6 hours with just basic materials that you can find at any home depot. There is no reason why the rescuers should have felt like their lives were in danger if they had properly secured and supported the rest of the building infrastructure. I have worked on a similar collapse in the USA, we had the site reinforced within 2 hours with our specialized hydraulics. However I was in a situation in Texas where a tornado took out all of our equipment and a building collapsed. Our workers found the nearest truck, drove to the home depot and got equipment and materials form the nearest home depot. We reinforced the structure (the roof of a local arena) within 4 hours.
Keith | Jun 27, 2012 5:41 PM

This statement is what everyone knows should be able to happen, but in this case, we see some so-called “experts” on the job (most of them, so I’ve heard former policemen, inluding Neadles or Needles himself) sitting around with their thumbs up their butts saying “we can’t go in, it’s not safe”, even though they KNEW there was someone alive in there. Nice rescuers, they’re useless. If you’re in the business of risking your life to save another, then for god sakes, risk your life to save that life already. There should never be an “it’s not safe” in the rescue business that stops rescue efforts. Of course it’s not safe, that’s why it’s a RESCUE. When are conditions ever safe in a rescue?

I am angered at the fact that there was nothing done when it should have been done. Burocratic ass scratching red-tape is what we have here in Canada when it comes to rescues apparently because that is all that happened. A life could have been saved if they would have known what they were doing in the first place and responded appropriately. How do I know? I FELT Lucie die. I FELT her take her last breath, her last gasp for air. If they would have had the proper equipment in there sooner and had not stopped, and if they would have let volunteers in, she would still be alive. She’d be in bad shape, but she’d be alive. As for Dolores, she was dead not long after the whole thing happened.

The owners of the mall knew about the condition of the building and the parking lot when they bought it off the previous owners. I have it on good authority that the roof was leaking and the parking lot had problems as early as 1 year after it was built. 30 years of leaky roof + salt = DISASTER & DEATH. Unfortunately, if it wasn’t for the deaths of the people trapped in that building, nothing would be done to prevent something like this from happening again. That is in regards to the state of the building and parking lot, and to the state of the rescue crews. Everyone will learn from this and the appropriate people will be fined and or lose their jobs and or be jailed. The engineering company responsible in the construction of the Algo Centre Mall should also be held accountible.

There are too many people to blame in this never-ending political, burocratical, corporate, authoritarian “game” of theirs.

I feel for the families of those who lost their lives in this disaster. I am personally involved in this, as one of the dead is a relative of my husband. This is why I am so passionate about this issue. I have been to that mall, and I have parked on that roof, and I have walked over that piece of parking lot which came crashing down on Saturday.

Here is a link to the other thread on this subject:

I have lots more to say on this subject, however, I want to wait until there is more news on other victims/survivors, or until the coroner reports are released.

Lady of Light

Another good quote:

Good lord! Don’t the Emergency Measures people know that rescuers are supposed to risk their lives to save others? Quitting because of danger is like soldiers refusing to fight for fear they might be hurt. - Peter Worthington, Toronto Sun


I've been following this on the news for the past few days, this is terrible how they delayed going in to save those people. The took the 19 hours to make the decision to get the proper equipment out to remove the bodies. I believe this allowed the people trapped to die.

The excuse was that it wasn't safe to go in to the building. That is why you signed up to be a rescuer to go into unsafe situations and remove people from the unsafe situations. Otherwise you can't call yourself a rescuer. If you only rescue people from safe situations then you are not rescuing them at all, are you? This is equal to saying that they only go into safe buildings and rescue people from safe situations.

How sad that all this red tape probably cost these women their lives. Time will tell!


New member
That's just terrible. where were these people's heads? It shouldn't matter whether it's 1 life or 1000 lives, these people should have been doing everything possible, that includes the use of local volunteers. Absolutely abhorrent, and inexcusable.

Those poor women, and what they must have gone through, the suffering for days for at least the 1 lady from what I understand.

Lady of Light

June 29, 2012 2:09 am

It has now been 5 ½ days since the disastrous roof cave-in at the Algo Centre Mall in Elliot Lake Ontario, a northern town that was at one time a mining town.

The police are stating that if there is found to be negligence in this case, there may be charges laid. The owner of the mall, an Iranian born Bob Nazarian, refused to travel to the town for fear of his life as his lawyer Antoine Rene Fabris mentioned he had received numerous death threats from townspeople. Mr. Fabris, a resident of Elliot Lake, got very angry today with fellow citizens and stated “My family was in the mall when it collapsed.” And went on to say "If I had thought that there was any danger, I certainly would not have put my family in harm's way."

The true nature of a lawyer, eh? Of course HE couldn’t have known how bad it was, he’s a lawyer, not a structural engineer.

In any case, the inspectors did NOT do their jobs properly. The original engineers who designed this fiasco of a building did not account for enough weight and shift, nor did they account for the fact that SALT would be used on the parking lot in this Northern Ontario town where they receive massive amounts of snow each winter. According to one of the contractors that was hired to fix the parking lot, there should have been some sort of membrane separating the cement from the steel beams underneath, but there was not. He did say that at the time the building was erected that such things were not commonplace to use, but HE was getting ready to put one in place when he was fired off the job and another contractor hired.

Another contractor hired? Why on earth would that happen? Did Mr. Nazarian not want to pay the little bit extra for the extra protection so that a disaster such as this may have been prevented? Is this all about being cheap? Bob Nazarian or one of his people had made claims that he had spent over 1 million dollars in repairs to the complex since purchasing it back in 2005. Yet, there is NO evidence of any types of repair aside from some minor asphalt, or tarring repairs to the roof’s parking lot. That is NOT building maintenance. That is pure negligence and arrogance, and I hope he is charged because of it.

Not only is Mr. Nazarian and Eastwood Malls Inc. responsible for this tragic event, any and all of the inspectors, as well as those within the Ministry of Labor who had assessed the scene prior to this occurrence, are also responsible for the deaths of at least 2 people.

HUSAR, and their crew, their engineer, the engineer from the ministry, the police, and any other rescue attendees were also responsible for the deaths, or at least 1 of them. 1 person could have and should have been saved. Had the burocratic red-tape not prevented action from happening in the rescue attempts, there may very well have been 1 life saved in this situation.

We’ve got reports of the HUSAR team stating they were pulling out and turning the scene over to the local authorities. In other words, leaving and can do no more for the rescue effort. Then, only after Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty was called and had special equipment brought in to do the job right, it was said, something along the lines of, ‘we were never going to leave, we were only pulling back to reassess the situation’. Yeah right, they said they were done with it, washing their hands of it, and then, to cover their butts, turn around and say ‘we never said that’. Typical.

Lucy Aylwin's fiance, Gary Gendron had told reporters that when the families were informed of the deaths "they were at peace" and "they did not suffer". I understand that the typical thing to say to put minds at ease is to say they did not suffer, but come on, really? 1 of them, Dolores, may or may not have suffered, but the other one, Lucie, DID suffer. How can you say she didn't suffer when she was alive Monday morning and a day later she was pulled out dead? SHE suffered, there is no doubt about that.

The bodies are in the hands of the coroners now, and an autopsy will determine when and how they died.

The media is scheduled to be leaving Elliot Lake late next week, I am assuming that is when the funerals will be, but I have not heard any news on that yet. When I hear, I may make plans to head on up there.

As for the investigation into what happened, the status of the building, what reports had been filed each time inspectors were there, what repairs were actually done, whether or not there was actually 1 million dollars spent on repairs, etc, will all be looked into over the course of the next few months. We may not hear anything on what criminal charges may be, or what will be done in the case of an emergency such as this, or anything else that surrounds this case for many months now. I will be awaiting that information.

I am outraged, the town is outraged and in a state of flux with their emotions. This whole scenario could have been prevented, but it wasn’t.

There were also comments from some of the people following this story about how Nazarian only owned the mall since 2005, so how can he be held at fault, it’s the fault of the previous owners. I have this to say, it’s the same buying a place of business as it is when you buy a house, you have it inspected, and if you sign the OK and say yep I’ll take it, no matter what the condition is, YOU take on ALL responsibility for anything that is wrong with that building or property. The onus is shifted from one owner to another. Yes, I agree that the previous owners neglected the building, but they did not own it when it collapsed, Eastwood owned it, and they are responsible for not taking proper care and making sure any problems were fixed.

The leaks were there through that roof from the parking lot since approximately 1 year after it first opened. You have a little over 30 years of salt and water damage.

This needs to be a lesson to the world, not just Elliot Lake, not just Ontario, and not just Canada.

The town of Elliot Lake will never be the same. The people will never be the same. This event changed the lives of those in the town, as well as the rest of the country.

I’m sure there’ll be more to come on this.

Lady of Light

The crews on the the scene needed those people to die. It was all for political gain. It reminds me of the princess Diana in the tunnel incident, and how they allowed her to die and quarantined off the area to make sure that rescue crews could not enter until she was dead. What do these political fatcats have to gain from this? What laws will be passed because of this. Whats the solution that is pre-planned from this problem? That is to say, once a problem such as this had "naturally" occurred, a solution was long thought of before hand.

Stephen Harper sending in the military was simply to subdue any what may have been unruly crowds; it was not for anything to do with “rescue”. In fact, military being sent in to perform rescue operations would have only made the situation worse and the building would have collapsed for sure.

As of Friday June 29[SUP]th[/SUP], the bodies as well as the autopsy reports have been turned over to the families from the coroner. However, the coroner is not finished their official investigation into the deaths of 2 female victims of the Satruday June 23[SUP]rd[/SUP] 2012 partial roof collapse in Elliot Lake.

Also on Friday, after earlier in the week when reporters were told to file a freedom of information act request, one reporter did just that, and she had the OPP called on her by the staff at the Elliot Lake Town Hall. Police had to respond, however before leaving the scene, told the clerks that this type of call does not warrant an emergency call to police. City Hall issued a statement later that day stating the the reports were allowed to be viewed by investigators who are looking into the incident.

Here’s the snippet from the National Post:
A reporter who tried to file a Freedom of Information request for documents related to the Algo Centre Mall at Elliot Lake City Hall on Friday was told to leave the building immediately.
When Global News reporter Jennifer Tryon asked why, staff at the city hall in northeast Ontario called the police.
“Tried to file [a] Freedom of Information request at #Elliot Lake city hall, was told “leave immediately,” Ms. Tryon wrote on Twitter. “I asked why, they called the OPP.”
City clerks felt “somewhat intimidated by the insistent nature of the request being made,” Ontario Provincial Police Constable Marc Despatie told the National Post.
“They decided to call the police and we’re duty-bound to respond.”
Shortly after the incident, the city of Elliot Lake issued a two-line statement that said any documents related to Algo Centre Mall “are now part of ongoing investigations.”
“The City is providing these documents to investigators,” the statement said.

Sure, tell the people to file the proper papers to access the information they are told they can have access to and then call police on them and tell them to leave. Ya, that makes sense. So, what’s REALLY going on here? What are they trying to hide? The clerks were acting under orders of their superiors, namely, that would make the boss Rick Hamilton. What the hell is going on in this small town? What corruption is being covered up? There must be some, otherwise why all the secrecy?

Brian England, a former manager of the Algo Centre Mall, said he was with Nazarian when he was told what could possibly happen if the mall’s roof did not undergo the proper repairs.
From CBC News:
“The architect plain and simply told Mr. Nazarian that if he didn’t proceed with these repairs,” said England, “that we could find that his structure was at the point of deterioration that it possibly could collapse. It was that clear.”
"The whole mall was held together with Band-Aids and duct tape," said England, one of five mall managers since Nazarian bought the mall in 2005. "We had the opportunity to do it up right, but he chose to do it on the cheap, or not at all," said England.
And of course, when Bob Nazarian was contacted by reporters about this, he refused to comment. Typical. Besides, his lawyer is making sure he doesn’t say anything so that there is no chance for him to implicate himself in the matter.

And now, there are reports surfacing of another search and rescue team on the scene. Another team? How can that be? You must mean the volunteers, right? Wrong. Not the volunteers from the community. Another team was called in from Ottawa almost immediately following the cave-in. But they were NOT allowed past the tape and the police officers. Yet, they brought along all the equipment necessary for such an operation to secure the unstable structure and actually do a proper rescue.

This is a team that has worked all around the world in disasters. They were there when 9/11 happened, and they were there when the earthquake happened in Haiti, and for countless other disasters. But when it came to the lives in Elliot Lake, they were told to go home, and they were not allowed in the structure. Does that make any sense to anyone? It certainly doesn’t make any sense to me.

I’m honestly beginning to believe they WANTED the people trapped in there to die. This turned into a political gain for someone, and at this point, that would be McGinty. HUSAR (Heavy Urban Search And Rescue), is a team of non-experienced yet well practiced, from what I understand ex-cops, and only do what their commanding officers tell them to do. And in this case, their commanding officers told them to leave and to not immediately call in the proper help from the start.
And then you have Stephen Harper who wanted to send in the military. What the hell were the military going to do? I’ll tell you what, they were going to be sent in to control the unruly public and keep them “out of the way” with force. The ONE good move made in this situation was to say NO to the military assistance.
There was nothing the military could possibly do to aid the efforts of rescue. They didn’t need to be involved.

Apparently there are 5 HUSAR teams across Canada, and I bet you none of them have any of the experience necessary to deal with an actual rescue mission. These are government run, government funded “rescue” teams in case of an emergency. And that would explain why they didn’t actually perform a rescue. They take their orders from their commanding officer(s), and so when push comes to shove, they don’t actually DO anything, at least until they get approval to do so. They would seem to be “front” companies to make the public feel safe in the case of an actual emergency, but they proved with this case that they are useless and therefore should not be in existence. There are many other crews out there that ARE trained, and ARE experienced, and ARE capable of doing what needs to be done in unsafe conditions in order to perform proper search and rescue; such as the team from Ottawa, who were there, with the proper equipment, but on stand-by.

This was clearly a political fiasco which was allowed to happen on many levels of the government. I’m not claiming ‘conspiracy’ here, but there certainly are a lot of fishy things associated with this event; and as time goes on, more and more information is surfacing to point to cover-up and government gain, in one way or another. Mark my words, there will be some major changes in laws and such regarding rescue in this country very soon because of this.
Although this fatal cave-in was not planned, it was allowed to happen. A partial roof collapse at the Algo Centre Mall in Elliot Lake, should have, and could have been prevented. The whole town knew that mall was a death trap, they just didn’t know when to expect it. And because the mall was the only source for buying such things like socks and underwear, and according to one woman, children’s clothing, the people still went to that mall. For others, it was their businesses, their livelihood to be in that mall every day. Most people in the town, had no choice but to be in that death-trap, rapidly decaying, constantly leaking building on a daily basis. And now, 300 people are out of work.

The Sobey’s owned Foodland store, one of the 2 only grocery stores in the town, was also in the Algo Centre. Foodland owner has agreed to pay his employees up to 6 months of wages while the store looks for a new location to open up business once again. The owner of Foodland does not want to be in a mall again where something like this may happen in the future. I can’t blame him. I wouldn’t want to be in that kind of a situation either. Even though the part of the mall the Foodland was in was unaffected by the roof collapse, it IS in the mall and the entire Algo Centre Mall is under quarantine until a full investigation has been completed into why this was allowed to happen.

Funeral plans have been announced for Doloris Perizzolo (the second victim/body pulled from the wreckage). Here is a link where you can go for the obituary for Doloris, as well as leave your condolences, or read others’ condolences. Doloris Perizzolo -0001--0001| Elliot Lake Funeral Chapel & Cremation Centre Visitation will be Tuesday July 3[SUP]rd[/SUP] 2012, from 2-4pm and 7-9pm. The mass will be held on Wednesday July 4[SUP]th[/SUP] 2012, at 11am at Our Lady of Fatima Parish.
The funeral plans for Lucie Aylwin have not yet been publicly announced. I will report more on that as I get the information, however, by that time, the funeral coverage may have already been all over the news.

Again, just to get some of this information out quickly, I will continue my coverage with the information that I have been gathering from a number of news agencies as well as through family and friends in and from Elliot Lake.

Lady of Light

Any word on the coroner's report? I haven't been able to find anything on it?

We have not yet received any word on the coroner's report. We need to speak with the family to see if they will let us know. When we do, what can be posted will be posted.

Lady of Light

Here are a few photos from BEFORE the roof collapse.

Above, you can see the bricks falling apart above the entrance for Zellers. You can see the wall deteriorating.

You can see that this support post is clearly rusted and weakened as a result.

This is part of the ceiling inside the mall where water would consistently leak through.

(Photos by Bonnie Ladell, a local resident, and uploaded by Brandi Duquette on Facebook)

The rest of the pictures can be found at the above Facebook link.

100th Monkey

New member
It's just terrible what happened in the town, thanks for keeping us up-to-date. Unfortunately I don't think the townspeople will be happy until heads roll. In particular I think they want to see the owner the mall go to jail.

Lady of Light

Here's what I've gathered from the past week, plus my own thoughts on things following.

From the Globe and Mail:

As Staff Insp. Neadles helplessly explained Wednesday, “When the final decision was made to leave the building [by whom, he didn’t say], I didn’t have the equipment to continue.” He also explained that he had to seek permission from the provincial safety commission before he could call in heavy equipment. By the time it arrived, it was Tuesday afternoon.

I have no idea what difference that equipment made. But it seems fair to assume that if matters had been left in the hands of the rescue team and bureaucrats, those two bodies would still be lying in the rubble.

Toronto Sun June 30[SUP]th[/SUP]:
OTTAWA - An internationally recognized rescue expert says he was turned away from the flattened mall disaster in Elliott Lake.
John Green, managing director of Ottawa-based P.R.E.P. International, has contributed or led rescue efforts in Japan, Haiti and Ground Zero following 911.
He got a call from a resident of Elliott Lake on June 23 -- 35 minutes after the collapse -- asking him to bring a team to help with the rescue effort. Instead of simply heading out, he decided to try and contact the local fire department and the Ontario Provincial Police. He left several messages and eventually heard back from the OPP on Monday morning.
“We had called them about eight or nine times Monday morning,” he said. “We called everybody we could.”
Around 11 a.m., an officer told them there was no harm in heading out. Green and his crew arrived in Elliott Lake at 7 p.m. and were told, “we’ve been waiting for you.”
But, two hours earlier, labour ministry officials had called off the rescue operation.
Green was told to leave.
Regardless, he waited around and watched as the crowd grew more and more agitated. From his experience, and in examining the collapse from behind the barricade, Green described the situation as “a typical building rescue.”
He claims to have done rescue efforts at 1,100 buildings -- upwards of 30 of those, similar to the one in Elliott Lake.
“This is the worst type,” he said.
He believes he could have helped with the rescue and that officials spent more effort analyzing the situation when they should have been taking action.
“It’s disappointing,” he said. “You either manage the risk or let the risk manage you. They let the risk manage this project.”
Green said if he had it to do over again, he wouldn’t have sought permission, he would have just gone in.
“I’ll never do that again,” he said.

It’s exactly like Charles Addler put it, why the hell did ‘daddy’ need to be called before the ‘children’ were able to be saved, or in this case, attempted to be saved? It should have been get the kids out, then find the dad, not the other way around.

Joe Warmington- Toronto Sun
As the firefighters’ credo states: “I want to fill my calling and, to give the best in me, to guard my neighbour and protect his property, and, if according to (God’s) will, I have to lose my life.”
The “I will stand down because some pencil pusher says it’s too dangerous and we will sit around and do nothing” line does not seem to be in there.
If Canada is now a country where a rescue worker has to sign a waiver to be brave, then it should also be a country that will not stand in the way of true heroes who don’t need medals to at least try.
Not everybody is a quitter.
“The hero is commonly the simplest and obscurest of men” is what 19th century American author Henry David Thoreau wrote.
However, in Elliot Lake, it seems the dead may be found before the heroes ever are.

There has been numerous banks willing to help out with loans and deferred payment plans for those who have suffered losses from the destruction of this mall and their businesses. There are funds setup through many different banks for people to donate to all across canada to help the citizens of Elliot Lake get back on their feet.

No one is allowed back inside the mall to collect their personal belongings, which is understandable. But the library was in there, so what is happening with all those books? I really hope that SOMEONE has the sense to save the books before the demolition of the building. The library was not affected by the section of roof/parking lot that fell. Also, what about the merchandise in places like Zellers? What is to come of that stuff? Surely, because of this that stuff is written off when it comes to insurance, so why can't things be salvaged and given to the community in their time of need?

I'm just throwing this stuff out there. Anything non-perishable should be saved (even if it's by those who ARE allowed in the building, cops, etc.) and be donated to those in need. It's ALL written off anyway.

The funeral was held yesterday (July 4th) for Doloris Perizzolo, and a memorial service is scheduled for Monday (July 9th) for Lucie Aylwin. The attendance was outstanding for Dolores, and I'm sure the attendance for Lucie will be at least equal on Monday.

I realize I am beginning to ramble on when it comes to this topic, but it's difficult when there is so much information and there are so many questions that remain unanswered.

Again, I will continue to update when necessary, as new or different information is released, or at least that I find out about.

The unfortunate deaths of these two women WILL lead to disasters being handled properly in the future with teams that know what they are doing and can go into the unsafe situations and make them safe within hours of the event occurring, and SAVE lives instead of delaying and cleaning up the remains and salvaging cadavers.

More to come as I receive the information.

Lady of Light

So, as of right now, July 7, 2012, an official criminal investigation has begun. The police are working to find who is at fault and lay charges.

Also, for the 30 or so business owners, the insurance is delaying the payouts necessary for these people to locate their businesses. Yves Berube, who owned a jewelry store in the Algo Centre Mall, talked to reporters and let them know the insurance situation for himself, but the story is the same all across the board. No one is allowed in the building because of ongoing investigations by the police and the province. The building has not yet been “condemned”, so as far as insurance goes, until that happens, the stuff is still there and available. Typical insurance stance. There are lots of words that I have for insurance crooks, but being of the good nature that I am, I will leave it at “crooks”.

So, these people are out of work, and temporarily out of business, but according to insurance rules (which don’t make a lick of sense), nothing is lost because the businesses still stand and it doesn’t matter that they cannot be accessed ever again.

My opinion is that of, payout the people now, don’t wait until the building is condemned. No one will ever be going back in there and they know it.

Another thing that they SHOULD do, but wont, and I mentioned it before, those who ARE allowed in the mall area should have a crew designated to salvage what they can from the shops that have nothing to do with the investigation area and donate the written off, or soon to be written off items, anything non-perishable, and give it to those who need it. I don’t see the problem with that and I don’t know why no one else but me is thinking that.

Well, that’s today’s update.

Lady of Light

Well, it's been about a week and a half since I last updated this, but here's what I've managed to compile from various news sources, as well as my own input here and there. I have been very busy, so I have not been able to update this thread until today. There is a lot more information surfacing out there about things like the engineering company who “inspected” the building, different plans set up for some of the stores, all kinds of support from other towns, etc. I will try to cover as many of these things as I can find the information on.

To start, there is this letter that was written to the Elliot Lake Standard (newspaper).

I came to Elliot Lake 14 plus years ago, even back then there were many signs of problems in our mall.
Pails, buckets and tubs, in all the stores and everywhere, including our library, which lost many books over the years because of the water problem.
Now I’m not an engineer, but in any high school you learn about water turning to ice. Ice being one of the strongest elements in the world, it freezes and expands, it thaws and contracts.
This has been happening to all the walls and ceilings in that building since before I arrived, and from what I’ve been told, since the day it was built. Having the mall maintenance people on the roof with bags of cement, pails of sand and tar, (which I saw, not long ago) was not going to fix it.
You have a poll, with one question and room for three answers (a set-up). I will answer,
Yes, we need a mall. What about all the people that don’t have cars to go out of town?
No, we don’t want it where it now stands. Even if it is completely rebuilt, which it would have to be. Build it on flat land, like the new No Frills and no roof top parking.
Another thing, I was in the Bank of Nova Scotia just before they moved, the walls had to be removed and, underneath was just black with mold. Not a healthy place to work. A good reason to move.
I know a lot of people will say, ‘If they rebuild there, I won’t go.’ They wouldn’t feel comfortable about the surroundings or it’s history. Can’t blame them.
Thank you for letting me have my say. I’m sure you will be swamped with mail.
Carol Laronde,
Elliot Lake

I’m sure most of the town feels the same as the woman who wrote this letter, and I felt it was an important enough statement to bring into this report.

5 defendants have been named thus far in the $30-million class-action lawsuit for what happened to the Algo Centre Mall. Those 5 defendants are as follows: M.R. Wright & Associates the engineering firm (from Sault Ste. Marie, ON) responsible for the latest inspections of the Algo Centre Mall; Eastwood Mall Inc. the company that owns the Algo Centre Mall; Robert (Bob) Nazarian head of Eastwood Mall Inc. because he knew about the state of the building and did nothing substantial to fix the problems; the Province of Ontario because the Ministry of Labour who came out to inspect health issues failed to catch the problems related to the Occupational Health and Safety Act; and The City of Elliot Lake for not making sure that proper inspections were being carried out and did not force action to be taken even though they had the knowledge of the disrepair and the power to do something about it.

From Moose FM 94.1 Algoma Manitoulin radio station:
Jack and Elaine Quinte, of Hungry Jacks, are leading the lawsuit on behalf of the directly affected residents. The lawsuit was filed on Friday, July 6th and more details are expected in the weeks to come.

Lawyers for this case are demanding action to be taken immediately in this court case and get the people of this town results soon, rather than years from now. Premier Dalton McGuinty has been asked to help in this regard. If the people keep on him, maybe something will happen, but if they don’t, god only knows if they will see the end of this anytime soon. Thousands of people are suffering right now and that would greatly be relieved if McGuinty acts for the people.

From BayToday.ca on the $2-million fund for the businesses to get back up and running, the McGuinty government had this to say:

We’ve also approved a two-year, $2-million emergency business continuity fund through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation so the City of Elliot Lake can help displaced businesses get re-established as quickly as possible and advance other priority economic development projects.

The public library is trying to get space in the White Mountain building on Spine Rd, but is being delayed in achieving this space because of an elevator which is in disrepair so the second floor unit which the library wants cannot be accessed until that elevator is fixed. Even though there may be stairs, which I don’t see stated, the space will not be approved for use as the library while the elevator is unsafe to use.

There is talk that the criminal investigation by the police and the public inquiry investigation will be in conflict as they are happening at the same time. So then why the heck can’t they just keep them separate? It can’t be all that difficult to do so. The people that are involved in the criminal investigation should have no knowledge of what is going on with the inquiry. It CAN be done.

The judge appointed in this case has been named. Justice Paul Belanger from Ottawa will be leading the public inquiry into the partial collapse of the Algo Centre Mall roof. However, it has been stated that the judge will report his findings after 1 year of investigation. Just more and more red tape. I understand that they need to be thorough, but 1 year? Seriously? I don’t think it takes that long to do a thorough investigation. But then again, how can I know that, I’ve never investigated anything of this nature in my life. It just seems like an awfully long time. Better to be thorough than to miss something, especially when that something could be important.

Then you have these people fighting to get the funding back that has been cut for emergency teams like Heavy Urban Search And Rescue (HUSAR). What the heck do they need the funding for if they are useless? They have proven themselves (in my eyes) to be over “trained” and clueless, inexperienced, useless teams. There are other teams out there, like the one from Ottawa that WAS THERE at the scene of this collapse, that ARE experienced, and HAVE the proper and necessary equipment needed to handle just such a situation. So, I personally don’t see the need to fund such teams as the government and police run HUSAR. They obviously don’t know what they’re doing and/or NEED the government’s approval to rescue. That’s what I observed from this tragedy.

For 256 former employees of various shops in the Algo Centre Mall, No Frills has donated $50 gift cards for each. Aslo, Loblaws is making a donation of $5,000 to the Elliot Lake Emergency Foodbank.

On a similar note, Foodland has gotten approval to open a temporary location inside Collins Hall provided they restore the hall to its condition prior to the store renovating for use as a grocery store. I think that’s reasonable. Don’t you? Sobeys is looking to get in to be able to start converting Collins Hall into a grocery store by August 27[SUP]th[/SUP], but rezoning needs to be completed before then. That’s just silly in my opinion. Who cares what the area is zoned for. Just let them in to use it, after all, it’s only temporary. This IS an emergency after all. Things are being sped along to get this done as quickly as possible.

There was an environmental assessment done back in 2005 regarding the asbestos used in the construction of the mall. The report can be found at the following link. If the link should become invalid, images of the document can be posted.

It has been stated that particles in the air during the time of collapse contained much asbestos and the long term effects of those who were in the mall at the time the roof caved in as well as those outside the mall during the tear down of the building to reach the victims may be mild to severe. Those who directly breathed in the dust at the time of the roof collapse are at the most risk for severe long term effects from the asbestos.

Police are asking anyone with any information about this case of the neglected building and those involved to come forward. The OPP have a dedicated phone line available for any information that may be important. That phone number is: 1-855-677-4636. Please, if you have any information, whether you think it’s relevant or irrelevant, it couldn’t hurt to present it to the police for the criminal investigation. You never know, that little tidbit of information that you’re holding onto could make or break the case against the negligent people responsible for the deaths of 2 well-known, well-loved ladies of Elliot Lake.

The M.R. Wright and Associates Co. Ltd. Had reported to the manager of the mall in a letter dated May 3[SUP]rd[/SUP] 2012 about the inspection done on Thursday April 12, 2012 on their findings. I’ll link to the Global News page with the document, but again, if it happens to disappear, I have the PDF I can have available for viewing.

Global News | Interactive graphic: Elliot Lake mall rust and water damage prior to collapse

It would seem that these “engineers” missed the damage to the steel beams and the concrete overhead. That “oops” cost 2 people their lives, and that number could have easily been much higher. There were a lot of people in that mall at the time of collapse.

As it would have it, this engineering firm is in a lot of hot water. As it turns out, back in 2010 engineers at this firm, who declared the Elliot Lake Algo Centre Mall “structurally sound”, were found guilty of “professional misconduct”. Wow, gee, no surprises there eh? Not surprising all this dirty laundry is coming to the surface. I can suspect that we will be seeing more and more information like this surface as things continue to be investigated, not only by the labor board and the police, but by investigative reporters trying to get to the bottom of this and report to the public.

On a positive note, Identification replacement fees are being waived for those who lost their ID within the mall when the roof came crashing down June 23[SUP]rd[/SUP]. All government issued IDs will be issued for free. As it should be. Why the heck should these people have to pay for something that they had no control over losing? They shouldn’t, so good for the government for doing it for free.

If and when, which it is seeming unlikely, the mall is deemed safe to enter and is no longer considered a crime scene the people will be allowed in to collect their things. This includes remnants of loved ones. There were at least 30 urns in the funeral home that was inside the mall. Even though the entrance to the funeral home is on the outside of the mall, no one is allowed near the building to collect the ashes of their loved ones until the mall is deemed safe to enter. The police do not want to risk anymore lives for fear that other parts of the mall may collapse. There are many people without closure for the deaths of their loved ones because they cannot retrieve the ashes. It’s sad, sure, but there is no immediate need to get the cremated remains out of a building. That may sound heartless to those grieving, but it’s true.

The cities of Timmins and North Bay have offered books of condolences from the people of the two towns to the people of Elliot Lake. It’s a nice way of showing how Northern Ontarians stand together for each other.

All over Ontario, and I’m sure all over Canada, people are going over in their minds what would happen in a larger emergency. What WOULD happen in an ACTUAL crisis? I believe that if we let our government handle the situation, we’re all doomed. We need people helping people and not being allowed or disallowed by the red tape of the government to take care of things of this nature. The government run operations can’t handle small scale disasters such as the roof collapse in Elliot Lake, how can the possibly handle large scale disaster if such a thing should happen?

Although I am outraged, much like the rest of the population at the outcome of the “rescue operation”, it is in my opinion, as a psychic, that even if they got in there right away as soon as they heard Lucie tapping and making noise, she would have died from her injuries. It was made apparent to me when I felt her take her last breaths that she was too severely injured to recover, and she knew it. I also believe that Dolores was most likely killed instantly or at least died within very few hours of the roof falling. It is sad to say and sad to hear, but this is the way things are meant to be. It HAD to be those 2 ladies, unfortunately for all those that loved them and will greatly miss them. It couldn’t have been anyone else. This tragedy will hopefully produce proper action in the future so that no one else may needlessly die in such a horrific event.

Once again, I will end here, but will report more in time as things unfold.

Lady of Light

As we're approaching the 1 year anniversary of this tragic event, I am working on putting together as much information as I can regarding the happenings over the past year (from where I left off), up to where things stand now after the investigation, the take-down/removal of the mall building, as well as the court proceedings/hearings so far. There's been a lot going on with the engineer(s) who signed off on the safety of the building, etc, etc.

One thing that I will say, the town of Elliot Lake, Ontario is devastated by all this. Not only did they lose two of their citizens, their friends, their family, they also lost a big piece of themselves, and they lost a lot of trust.

Like I said, I will be gathering what I can from what has happened so far and I will be posting all that here. It's been a busy year and I haven't had a chance to get back to this in a while, but with the anniversary coming up, I feel the need to take the time out of other things and get back to this.

More to follow shortly.

Lady of Light

It has been 1 year since the tragic cave-in of the roof of the Algo Centre Mall in Elliot Lake, Ontario, where 2 women were killed.

I want to make sure to post the video recreation of what happened (which contains actual footage of the collapse from the roof-deck) before I sum up what has gone on with the investigations and anything else that is/has been happening in the town since this tragic preventable event.

Here is that video: "NORR Report, Appendix, Exhibit 03141-NL_E000013115"

From this point, I’m going to try to do my best to summarize what has gone on since I last posted in July. Please bear with me, this is going to be quite long, so I will be splitting it into multiple posts for ease of reading, and it may take me a couple of days to complete.

Lady of Light

The Report:

  • As of July 18[SUP]th[/SUP] 2012, rezoning of the land occupied by Collins Hall was applied for to accommodate Foodland (says 1 report), Sobeys (says another report) after the collapse of the mall where the store was located. The zoning order has since been signed. Collins Hall is to accommodate the lost grocery store that was located within the mall.
  • Ontario (The McGuinty Government) set up a 2-year $2-million fund to help the families and businesses affected by the collapse so that the people of Elliot Lake could have their basic needs met (which were removed by the mall collapse).
“Our government is committed to helping the people of Elliot Lake rebuild and revitalize their community. We are helping families access the necessities for day-to-day living.”
Kathleen Wynne
Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing

“It is gratifying to see the province move so quickly to help the people of Elliot Lake. This is an important step for our community.”
Rick Hamilton
Mayor, Elliot Lake

“The government is helping Elliot Lake turn challenge into opportunity. The business recovery activities now underway will require a tremendous team effort from everyone involved. Our funding will bring extra human resources and a youthful perspective to the work ahead.”
Rick Bartolucci
Minister of Northern Development and Mines and Chair of the NOHFC

“I am very pleased that the NOHFC is supporting our important business revitalization activities through its internship program. This additional resource will greatly benefit our Economic Development Advisory Committee (EDAC) and the experience is likely to be second to none for the intern.”
Rick Hamilton
Mayor, City of Elliot Lake

  • Other communities and their businesses contribute their own funds toward the disaster recovery for the Elliot Lake people. Desjardins in Sudbury contributed $1,550 to the Elliot Lake Relief Fund and the members are encouraged to donate at their local branches.
  • From what I understand from the article found here: http://www.northernlife.ca/news/localNews/2012/07/17-robot-helps-elliotlake-sudbury.aspx, there were robots available in Sudbury from Greg Baiden and his business named Penguin. These robots could go in and assess the situation to determine whether or not it was safe to send anyone in, and if not safe, the robots could do the work of humans. That’s what they’re designed to do. The robots are designed for the mines, and they are equipped with high-definition cameras. Instead of allowing the use of these robots, HUSAR was allowed to continue their less-than-half-assed job of “search and rescue”, deeming the whole place unsafe until the remaining (at the time) survivor, perished in the rubble. Thumbs up their butts, that’s what I see.
  • Anyone who lost their government issued documents inside the mall at the time of the collapse (driver’s licenses, vehicle registrations, outdoor’s cards (with hunting and fishing licenses), Ontario photo IDs) can have those documents re-issued at no cost if they haven’t already done so. Anyone who paid for the replacements will be reimbursed. Afterall, why shouldn’t they get replacements for free, it’s the partially the government’s fault the mall collapsed in the first place.
  • Lucie Aylwin’s family has set up a bursary in Lucie’s name for Elliot lake students who wish to study at College Boreal where Lucie worked. The bursary is called the “Lucie Aylwin Memorial Bursary”. Donations for the bursary can be made at College Boreal by calling (705) 560-6673.
  • Blind River (a neighboring town) held a barbecue (August 4[SUP]th[/SUP]) entitled “Blind River Helping Friends of Elliot Lake, to help raise funds for the town.
“The event, titled Friends of Blind River Helping Friends of Elliot Lake, will run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Aug. 4. There will be live music on stage, as well as Karaoke, pony rides from Rocking Horse Stables, singer and guitarist Fern McCoy, a yard sale, donation jars, water balloons and kite flying. And of course, there will be barbecued hamburgers, hot dogs, cold pop, bottled water and frozen treats.
For anyone who wishes to donate goods for the yard sale, call 705-356-7683.”

  • July 20[SUP]th[/SUP], there’s reports of class-action lawsuit to seek compensation for the victims of the tragedy of the collapse of the mall’s rooftop parking lot above the escalators. The lawsuit would name the mall’s owners (Nazarian), the engineering company who did an inspection of the mall recently (and deemed it safe), as well as the City of Elliot Lake. The defendants “knew or ought to have known that the deterioration of the mall’s structure posed a serious safety risk”, and nothing was done to prevent the collapse. (Court proceedings are still taking place now – June 19[SUP]th[/SUP] 2013)
  • Naturally, the rotting food from the grocery store was attracting all kinds of wild creatures, rodents and bears, etc. This was 1 month after the collapse and closure of the mall. The concern over this is that the rodents would spread to the other businesses in the area and not stay contained within the wreckage of the Algo Center Mall. Apparently Algoma Public Health said they would keep a bait station running until the rotten food could be removed. Don’t know if this happened, but probably.
  • July 19[SUP]th[/SUP] 2012, The OPP (Ontario Provincial Police) Urban Search and Rescue, Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosive Response Team (UCRT) started securing the structure and beginning their criminal investigation. This began with the removal of the remaining vehicles from the rooftop parking lot. The OPP hired independent 3[SUP]rd[/SUP]-party engineers and contractors (NORR Limited and Priestly Demolition) to assist with the investigation. (NORR provided the report in the video above which included security camera footage of the collapse from the rooftop, entitled “NORR Report….” Ontario’s Ministry of Labor (MOL) overseeing the activities. At this point, OPP ask anyone with any information great or small come forward and let them know so that proper steps can be taken against responsible parties. Forensic Identification unit from Sault St. Marie was on scene to assist with the investigation.
    “Anyone with information about the roof collapse can call 855-677-4636.”
  • It was said that about 60% of the retail businesses were affected by this collapse, as they were located inside the Algo Center Mall.
  • The reports of what happened on the tragic afternoon of June 23[SUP]rd[/SUP] 2012 should be known no later than January 2014, according to Commissioner Paul Belanger who is in charge of the probe into the events that caused the collapse and what was done regarding it. I’m sure the investigation will be lengthy, and it should be. There is much to find out, and we are all waiting on the results. Even when it is all said and done, there will still be many people not satisfied with the findings. This inquiry kicked off around the 19[SUP]th[/SUP] or 20[SUP]th[/SUP] of July 2012.

I’ll end here for this post; I think it’s pretty lengthy at this point. I will continue into the next post, and more posts to come after that. I’ve got a lot of information to sift through to get up to date.

Lady of Light

This was posted in the Elliot Lake's Roof Support Group on facebook. I thought it right that it be shared here too.

[h=5]On Monday July 8, 2013 the Inquiry in Elliot Lake resumes after a 3 week break. Mayor
Rick Hamilton of Elliot Lake is scheduled to testify on this day. There will be a
demonstration in Elliot Lake on this day at both the location of the inquiry at 1:00 PM to
2:00 PM and at City Hall from 2:30 to 4:00. This is a peaceful demonstration. It is not
against the inquiry.