The Elliot Lake public inquiry has come to a standstill after a new document surfaced Wednesday, revealing more about the possible cause of the collapse.
Lawyers at the inquiry looking into last June’s fatal Algo Centre mall collapse obtained a 700-page report that outlines in extensive detail what likely caused the roof to cave in.
Called the NORR report — named after the company hired by the OPP to conduct the forensic investigation — reviews and analyzes the history of the mall, its key players in decision-making and the mall’s structural failures
Findings in the report align closely with what has already heard in these hearings. The report says evidence suggests that the failure of a beam to connect with an abutting column properly is at the heart of what happened.
In NORR's interim report released in November, it says a welded connection failed, causing the slabs of concrete to crash through the roof.
It isn't known if the full report submitted today contains that same interim conclusion.
Based on the nature and importance of the NORR report, Justice Paul Belanger said the hearings will not move forward until the commission council and the lawyers have read and analyzed it.
An employee of the Algo Mall’s original owners continued his testimony Thursday morning, but Rod Caughill won't undergo further questioning from other lawyers until Tuesday when the hearings resume again.
What is the Elliot Lake Inquiry?
The Elliot Lake Inquiry was established on July 19, 2012 by the Government of Ontario under the Public Inquiries Act, 2009.
Its mandate is to inquire into and report on events surrounding the collapse on June 23, 2012, of the Algo Centre Mall in Elliot Lake, the deaths of Lucie Aylwin and Doloris Perizzolo and the injuries to other individuals as well as the emergency management and response.
The Commission is to review relevant legislation, regulations and bylaws, policies processes and procedures of provincial and municipal governments and other parties with respect to the structural integrity of the Algo Centre Mall and the emergency management and response. The Commission is to make recommendations to prevent such occurrences in the future.
The commission does not exist to lay the foundation for criminal charges or civil liability. It is not a trial. No legal determinations will be made. The strict rules of evidence that govern in a court of law do not apply. The Commission makes its own rules, in consultation with the participants with the end goal of determining why this tragedy happened, how the emergency response and management was carried out and how things might be improved to prevent repetition.