OPP begins criminal investigation into Elliot Lake mall collapse
Ten days after the roof of the Algo Centre Mall in Elliot Lake, Ontario collapsed, killing two women, a criminal probe has been launched by the Ontario Provincial Police.
Yesterday, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) issued a news release
announcing they have begun an investigation into the collapse of the roof of the Algo Centre Mall on June 23. The investigation will probe whether criminal charges should be laid concerning the collapse at the mall that took the lives of Doloris Perizzolo, 74, and Lucie Aylwin, 37.
The collapse is already being investigated by the Office of the Chief Coroner of Ontario as well as the Ontario Ministry of Labour. The Criminal Investigation Branch of the OPP has already been assisting the coroner's office in their probe into the deaths of the two women, a mall employee and a customer.
Police are not publicly saying what led them to begin the criminal probe. OPP Sgt. Pierre Chamberland is quoted by the Globe and Mail
as saying, "I'm afraid I can't get into that because of the fact that any information we gather, we have to be careful how we deal with it."
But the Globe also reports that an OPP source said maintenance records showing unresolved problems prior to the collapse led the police to take the action they are taking.
reported that the Algo Centre Mall had a history of leaks. Employees from the Ontario Ministry of Labour made several trips to the location after complaints were received about leaky roofs, leaky pipes, mould, and an unsafe escalator.
Although work had been done to stop the leaks, a source was quoted by CP as saying "substantial renovations" had never been undertaken to the roof of the mall that was built in the 1980s. A complete overhaul of the mall's roof was planned for sometime in the future.
As well as the current investigations being undertaken, Premier Dalton McGuinty announced last Friday that the province will hold a public inquiry into the roof's collapse. McGuinty was quoted by the Sault Star
I spoke with the families of Doloris Perizzolo and Lucie Aylwin in Elliot Lake on Wednesday and again today by telephone. These families—and other Ontarians—have raised questions that deserve to be answered.
The OPP is asking anyone who believes they have information that will assist the investigation to contact them at 1-855-677-4636 (1-855-OPP-INFO).