Rescue efforts at the collapsed shopping mall in northern Ontario were suspended after officials deemed the building unsafe.
Bill Needles, a spokesman from the Heavy Urban Search and Rescue team, said that although they believe there may be survivors under the rubble, the condition of the building has deteriorated and it is “totally unsafe” for rescue workers.
The Algo Centre Mall in Elliot Lake collapsed Saturday afternoon. At least one person died and as of early Monday morning a remote device called the life detector determined that someone was breathing underneath the rubble. However, Needles said that because the building could collapse at any time, rescue crews would not be going in to find the survivor at this time.
“Our team is certainly not happy. I’m not happy, nobody’s happy that we have to stop work, but that’s unfortunately the way that we’ve had to end this situation,” Needles said.
At least 22 people suffered minor injuries in the collapse, and the number of missing people has fluctuated . Police are focusing on two people who they know where in the building at the time of the collapse and whose cars are still in the parking lot.
Eyewitnesses told the Associated Press that two kiosks selling lottery tickets, cigarettes and magazines were in the area where the roof caved in. The roof, which serves as a parking lot, crashed through two floors of the mall.
With Associated Press