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 23rd, 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.