Canadian Consulting Engineer

Structural failures cause tragedy in Ontario

In the space of a week, Ontario has had two structures collapse causing death. On Saturday, June 24 at around 2.30 p.m. the roof of the Algo Centre Mall in Elliott Lake, between Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie in northern Ontario, partially...

June 25, 2012   Canadian Consulting Engineer

In the space of a week, Ontario has had two structures collapse causing death. On Saturday, June 24 at around 2.30 p.m. the roof of the Algo Centre Mall in Elliott Lake, between Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie in northern Ontario, partially collapsed. At least one person was killed, and last reports were up to 30 people were missing.

By Monday rescuers were still trying to reach victims who might be trapped under the wreckage where tapping sounds had been heard. However, the structure was becoming even more dangerous and was shifting, hampering rescue efforts.

The mall was built in the early 1980s and is owned by Eastwood Mall Inc. Besides stores, it houses a library and government offices.

The two-storey structure had parking on the roof, and reportedly two vehicles fell through when the roof caved in. Doors “blew open” and a video shows gaping holes above the food court. According to some reports the roof had been leaking for some time, but had been declared structurally sound.

A week earlier, a temporary stage structure being constructed for a Radiohead rock concert in Downsview Park in Toronto collapsed and instantly killed a stagehand. Professional Engineers Ontario have offered help to the Ontario Ministry of Labour in its investigations as to what caused the stage scaffolding to give way.


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