2 bodies removed from rubble of collapsed mall


Recovery teams removed two bodies from rubble of a collapsed mall in Ontario, Canada, on Wednesday, June 27, 2012.


The Canadian Press

Recovery teams removed two bodies from rubble of a collapsed mall in Ontario, Canada, today and said there are no others trapped.

The Heavy Urban Search and Rescue (HUSAR) team removed the first body early this morning and the second four hours later, The Toronto Star said.

Both were found near each other inside the Algo Centre Mall in Elliot Lake, about a seven-hour drive northwest of Toronto.

HUSAR spokesman Bill Neadles told an afternoon press conference that he’s confident there are no more bodies or survivors under the rubble.

“There are only two victims in that complex. There is nobody else in there,” he said, according to the Star. “It is a miracle. There were 26 people in the food court (before the collapse).”

Police said they are not ready to release names, ages or genders of the deceased.

A coroner now has the bodies.

The rooftop parking lot caved in Saturday afternoon.

More from GlobalPost: Prime Minister offers federal assistance to Elliot Lake

Officials in the town of 11,000 reported as many as 12 people missing on Tuesday, but police said don’t believe they are inside the mall, CBC said. 

Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner Chris Lewis said he’s heard the reports that the mall had been on the verge of collapse for years.

“Between the OPP and the Ministry of Labour ... that will all be examined, and if there was something done wrong here, we'll deal with it,” he told CBC.
"The priority isn't that piece right now; it’s to continue what we're doing."

Residents said the government’s response and rescue efforts were sorely lacking in the hours after the incident, The Globe and Mail said.

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty faced criticism because he didn’t travel to the site, but he’s now on his way.

HUSAR – a Toronto-based team of volunteers – also stopped its rescue efforts Monday because it was worried about the rubble collapsing further.

Proper equipment arrived on Tuesday, allowing teams to remove more debris.

“The mission continues and it will continue until it’s done,” Ontario’s commissioner of community safety Dan Hefkey said, according to the Globe.

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