Robert Wood takes stand in deadly Elliot Lake mall collapse trial

The defence is expected to set out its case today in the trial of the only person criminally charged in connection to a fatal northern Ontario mall collapse.

The last person to inspect the Algo Centre Mall has pleaded not guilty to 3 counts of criminal negligence

Former engineer Robert Wood appears at a public inquiry into the collapsed mall in Elliot Lake, Ont., in a June 7, 2013 photo. (Colin Perkel/The Canadian Press)

Discredited engineer Robert Wood says he has inspected 50 collapsed structures during his 40-year career, as the Elliot Lake mall collapse trial continues today.

Wood, the only person criminally charged in the fatal 2012 incident, was the last person to inspect Elliot Lake's Algo Centre Mall, declaring it "structurally sound" just weeks before it collapsed.

Wood also said he has inspected corrosion during his time as co-owner of M.R. Wright and Associates.

On the day of the collapse, rusty ceiling beams gave in to decades of water and salt that had leaked through from the roof-top parking deck, sending cars and concrete down into the mall.

Robert Wood, discredited engineer to inspect Elliot Lake mall before collapse, pleads 'not guilty' at trial

Lucie Aylwin, 37, was helping customer Doloris Perizzolo, 74, at a lottery kiosk on June 23, 2012 when a portion of the shopping centre's rooftop parking deck caved in.

Both women were killed and more than a dozen others were injured. 

Wood has pleaded not guilty to two counts of criminal negligence causing death and one count of criminal negligence causing bodily harm.

The Crown closed its case on Dec. 19, 2016, arguing that Wood demonstrated a "wanton and reckless disregard for the lives and safety of others."

During the first four months of the trial, the Crown called on a long list of witnesses, including people who were at the mall when it collapsed, people who responded to the disaster, and people who tried to do something about the Algo Centre Mall's leaky roof before it rusted and gave way


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