Crews sift through Elliot Lake mall debris ahead of inquiry
Collapsed rubble is pictured at the Algo Centre Mall in Elliot Lake, Ont., on Wednesday, June 27, 2012, after a deadly roof collapse. (The Canadian Press/Nathan Denette)
Published Wednesday, July 25, 2012 10:12AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, July 25, 2012 10:13AM EDT
Crews in Elliot Lake, Ont. have begun sifting through a tangled, twisted mess of steel girders, concrete and rubble as they search for evidence pointing to the cause of the mall collapse that killed two people last month.
Workers have been moving the debris left behind following the controlled demolition that allowed rescue crews to reach the remains of two victims who died in the accident.
Lucie Aylwin, 37, and Doloris Perizzolo, 74, were killed when part of the Algo Centre Mall's roof crashed into the food court area on June 23. Twenty others were injured.
The entire mall property is now considered a crime scene, and forensic crews with the Ontario Provincial Police are looking for signs of what led to the structural failure, said CTV Northern Ontario's Ben Mercer.
"Police are also creating 3D images to help better understand how a large section of rooftop parking lot could fall, suddenly collapsing down on itself," Mercer said.
Among the items pulled from the debris is an ATM. The machine, likely still full of cash, is currently sitting outside the mall surrounded by a tall fence, and under the watchful eye of police until it can be collected by its owners.
Meanwhile, the community is preparing for the next phase of the process set to begin when Justice Paul Belanger arrives in town in mid-August to begin his probe into what went wrong.
Belanger plans to meet privately with those affected by the incident and hold a public meeting to answer questions from residents.
Belanger and his team could spend up to 18 months investigating the collapse and putting together a report on the incident itself, the deaths and injuries and the response by emergency service workers.
While Belanger will explore what went wrong and how authorities dealt with it, a separate investigation by the OPP will be responsible for assigning any possible criminal blame in relation to the collapse.