UPDATE: Two bodies removed from rubble of collapsed mall in northern Ontario

The Canadian Press
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Rescue workers watches a demolition crane as it tears into the Algo Centre Mall in Elliot Lake, Ont. Tuesday. Rescue workers are attempting an new plan to search for survivors after the mall's roof collapsed last Saturday. — Photo by The Canadian Press

ELLIOT LAKE, Ont. — Officials at the site of a deadly roof collapse in the northern Ontario city of Elliot Lake say two bodies have been removed from the rubble.

Bill Neadles of the Heavy Urban Search and Rescue team says a second victim was pulled from the wreckage of the Algo Centre Mall early this afternoon.

Neadles says he does not believe any other bodies are trapped inside the structure.

The remains were discovered after a specialized robotic arm shifted debris caused when a section of roof crashed through the two-storey building on Saturday afternoon.

Neadles says rescuers still have to sift through a large pile of rubble, but expect to complete the search in the next two hours.

Elliot Lake Mayor Rick Hamilton says the family of one of the victims has been notified.

 

 

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ELLIOT LAKE, Ont. — Officials have confirmed one body has been recovered from the rubble of a caved-in mall in the northern Ontario city of Elliot Lake.

Mayor Rick Hamilton calls it “a deep, deep tragedy.”

Television footage showed some rescue workers taking off their hard hats as the stretcher was carried out.

The identity of the victim has not been released.

Dan Hefkey, the Ontario Commissioner of Community Safety, says rescue workers have returned inside the mall and are likely to recover more bodies.

The mall’s roof collapsed Saturday afternoon killing at least one person and officials have confirmed that at least two people were trapped inside.

When asked if there’s still hope to find any survivors, Hefkey said “There’s always hope. And that’s what we’re trying to work at.”

Once search and rescue has determined there are no more people inside, the investigation will get turned over to the Ministry of Labour, he said.

“There are going to be questions about why it collapsed, and those questions have to be answered.”

Cranes have been toiling overnight to pull debris and clear a path for crews and search dogs to go into the wreckage.

The risky operation was initially called off on Monday over concern that a precariously balanced escalator might collapse on rescue workers.

But an outpouring of concern from the community prompted Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty to secure more resources for the rescue mission.

 

 

Organizations: Ontario Commissioner of Community Safety, Ministry of Labour

Geographic location: Elliot Lake, Northern Ontario, Ontario

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