Elliot Lake: Never Give Up
By late Monday, workers from the elite Heavy Urban Search and Rescue Team said they were forced to call off the search for possible survivors of the Algo Centre Mall roof collapse. The entire structure was in danger of crumbling, and rescuers are taught to put their safety first.
Townspeople reacted in shock and with many, anger. Through tears one local woman addressed Elliot Lake Mayor Rick Hamilton pointing out that this was a mining town, and miners never give up on the rescue. At city hall over 50 people entered their name on a list of people willing to go in the building and continue searching.
RESCUE EFFORTS BACK ON
After this decision, Premier McGuinty spoke to Emergency Management Ontario and the on site rescue team and instructed them to devise an alternative plan. By Tuesday morning rescue efforts were back on, suggesting more “mechanical” means of accessing possible survivors, even if they must begin to dismantle large pieces of structure from the outside.
The haunting question is that by day 3 could anyone possibly be still alive? One person is confirmed dead with a list of unaccounted for fluctuating over these many hours since the accident. It now sits at about 20 with a dedicated phone line set up to try and connect missing persons with family and loved ones.
Two names have remained consistent on the list throughout all the changes. Both would have normally been at the mall at that time and both of their vehicles remain at the scene.
It has also been reported that the Ministry of Labour has paid 6 visits to the mall over the last 3 years, mostly to do with leaky pipes and a leaky roof. As mentioned, local residents expressed anger at the halt in rescue operations. Now that those efforts are back on, hope takes over.
I have a feeling based on evidence so far, that there is more anger to come. From what we know so far, I'd be angry too. LEAVE COMMENTS.
For other Larry Fedoruk blogs and features, click here.
Click this CBC story here, for more on this graphic.