Elliot Lake Inquiry delves into rescue efforts

On Wednesday the Elliot Lake public inquiry will turn its attention to the rescue efforts that followed the fatal roof collapse in June of last year.

Commission to look into the emergency response to fatal mall collapse, as Phase 2 begins Wednesday

Justice Paul Belanger is head of the commission leading the inquiry into the fatal roof collapse at the Algo Centre Mall in Elliot Lake, which happened on June 23, 2012. (Yvon Theriault/Radio-Canada)

On Wednesday the Elliot Lake public inquiry will turn its attention to the rescue efforts that followed the fatal roof collapse in June of last year.

Since March, the commission has heard evidence about what caused the roof of the Algo Centre Mall to cave in and has listened to 75 witnesses.

Elliot Lake Inquiry commission lawyer Peter Doody. (CBC)

Lawyer Peter Doody said he's satisfied with the work the commission has done so far.

"I am pleased with the process," he said. "I think we've been able to get the evidence we need to help the commissioner to decide how this happened."

The commission will begin Phase 2 with testimony from the families of the two women killed in the collapse.

Justice Paul Belanger will need to determine if the rescue teams did everything they could to try and save Lucie Aylwin and Doloris Perizzolo.

Similar collapse in B.C.

A public inquiry also followed when a portion of a roof-top parking lot at a mall in British Columbia caved in 24 years ago.

In 1988, dozens of people parked their cars on the roof of the Burnaby Mall to attend the grand opening of a supermarket, when catastrophe struck.

Only minutes after the store opened, the roof caved in and cars tumbled down from the parking lot above.

There were no deaths, but dozens of people were injured.

The commissioner's report stemming from a public inquiry into the tragedy said poor building design was to blame, and he recommended stricter regulations for structural engineers.

Elliot Lake Inquiry lawyer Peter Doody said he isn't sure how the Burnaby inquiry could have prevented the Algo Centre Mall from collapsing as the "building was built 10 years before the Burnaby collapse."

Nevertheless, Doody said hopes the findings of the Elliot Lake Inquiry will prevent similar tragedies in the future.

The Burnaby commission said exactly the same thing, in its report back in 1988.

Elliot Lake Inquiry Schedule:

Witness Name

Dates  (subject to change)


Introduction of exhibits (photos, audios and videos)

August 7, 2013

Adam Amyotte, Eye witness

August 7, 2013

Jean-Marie Marceau, Eye witness

August 7, 2013

Yves Bérubé, Eye witness

August 7, 2013

Jason Morrissey, Eye witness

August 7, 2013

Darrin Latulippe and Teresa Perizzolo (Perizzolo family), Victim Family

August 7, 2013

Gary Gendron, Victim Family

August 7, 2013

Rejean and Rachelle Aylwin (Aylwin family), Victim Family  *Please note that they will testify in French

August 8, 2013

Dan Hefkey, Ontario's Commissioner of Community Safety, Emergency Management Ontario  ** Government of Ontario Overview Witness (with respect to emergency response) - limited to policies and procedures evidence

August 8, 2013

Dale Burns, OPP photographer

August 9, 2013