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The public inquiry probing last summer's mall roof collapse in Elliot Lake will hear difficult evidence Thursday.

The coroner will start his testimony, shedding more light on how and when the victims in the Algo Centre Mall died.

In recent weeks the inquiry has been hearing evidence about signs of life during the rescue inside the collapsed mall.

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Dr. Marc Bradford says coroners answer five questions about a death: who, when, where, how and by what means someone dies. (Elliot Lake Inquiry)

Thursday, the inquiry is expected to hear more about whether anyone could have been alive during the rescue effort.

It took days for rescue crews to stabilize the dangerous building, and remove debris from the collapsed area.

Inside the mall they found the bodies of Lucie Aylwin and Doloris Perizzolo.

The commissioner is expected to place a publication ban on photos associated with the coroner's testimony.

The inquiry will also hear more evidence about the deaths next month from a forensic pathologist.

Follow CBC News' live blog from reporter Megan Thomas:

Warning: Coroner's testimony could contain graphic desciptions.

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.