NEWS

Elliot Lake fatal mall collapse report due at 11 a.m.

10/15/2014 07:38 EDT | Updated 12/15/2014 05:59 EST
People in Elliot Lake are preparing today for the final report on the 2012 Algo Centre Mall roof collapse, which took two lives.

This morning, Justice Paul Belanger, who headed the public inquiry into the disaster, will make public his final report on what happened. Two women were killed when part of the rooftop garage caved in after years of water and salt penetration.​

An Elliot Lake seniors advocacy group member, Keith Moyer, followed the inquiry hearings almost daily.

"I have expectations that he is going to come out with some very worthwhile doable recommendations and just hope that those with the power to implement them do so," he said.

Former mall flower shop owner Luc Morrisette said he remembers what rainy days were like inside his store.

"You're dodging the leaks all over the store. There would be new buckets all over. But it was a daily thing so you almost get used to seeing those buckets," he said.

Despite his misgivings, Morrisette kept his store in the mall for 16 years — until the day the rusty ceiling beams gave in to decades of water and salt that had leaked through from the roof-top parking deck, sending cars and concrete down into the mall.

Morrisette said he plans to be in the front row today when Justice Paul Belanger released his final report.

"It's closure. I need to see this firsthand."

Report will not lay blame

The public inquiry into the mall disaster held months of hearings and examined thousands of documents.

The final report is not aimed at laying blame. Instead Belanger will make recommendations to prevent similar tragedies.

Morrisette said he hopes the release of the report will allow the community to finally move on.​

"Elliot Lake is a nice tranquil place. The people who know us, know how beautiful this place is."

Belanger will release his final report on the mall disaster at a community centre in Elliot Lake at 11 a.m. He will issue two volumes, along with his recommendations to avoid a similar tragedy.

The first 744-page volume relates to events leading up to the collapse of the Algo Centre Mall in June 2012.

The second 652-page volume deals with post-collapse events, specifically the emergency response to the tragedy.

Belanger's report comes as police, who have charged a former engineer criminally, continue to investigate the collapse.

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