The inquiry examining the mall roof collapse in Elliot Lake has heard a police dog indicated there were signs of life at one point during the rescue effort.


OPP search dog Dare responded to the mall roof collapse in Elliot Lake with his handler Daniel Bailey. (Elliot Lake Inquiry)

Members of the OPP's canine program have been testifying this week at the inquiry into last summer's deadly mall roof collapse.

They were deployed to Elliot Lake in the hours after the roof fell to help search the rubble for victims.

On the evening of, June 24 — more than 24 hours after the collapse — the inquiry heard an OPP dog started searching.

Constable Daniel Bailey explained that his dog Dare barked at a spot in the debris pile.

"I believed at that point, from recognizing what his indications were, I believed he was indicating what I thought would be a live victim," Bailey said.

No barking in later search

However, during a search later in the rescue the inquiry heard the dog no longer indicated a live victim.

The inquiry heard from Wayde Jacklin on Tuesday. He is the head trainer for OPP search dogs and the coordinator of the canine program.

Jacklin explained the dogs bark when they detect signs of life, but it's not an exact science.

"Is there somebody there that is alive? Or is there somebody there that's not alive? So, the dog in the early stages may indicate that even if a person is deceased, could be indicating by barking," he said.

"As time progressed, that gap has gotten bigger and the dog is not barking anymore."

It took rescue workers days to reach the two women trapped inside the unstable collapsed mall. They did not survive.

The inquiry is examining if anything should have been done differently during the rescue.

Hearings into the Elliot Lake mall roof collapse continue until October.

The public inquiry was established in July 2012 by the Ontario government and has been underway in Elliot Lake since March.

It was created to report on events surrounding the mall roof's collapse on June 23, 2012, the deaths of Lucie Aylwin and Doloris Perizzolo, the injuries to others and the emergency management and response.

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