ELLIOT LAKE, Ontario — At least one person is feared dead after a roof collapsed at a shopping mall in northern Ontario, authorities said Sunday.
Rescue teams searching through the rubble said images of the scene revealed a hand and foot in the dusty debris, but the remains are in an area that was still unsafe to enter. Officials said 22 people were injured and nine remain missing after the Saturday collapse at the Algo Centre Mall in the northern Ontario city of Elliott Lake.
Fire officials say they heard taps coming from behind slabs of concrete and metal Sunday morning.
Stephan Powell of Toronto Fire Services said 40 members of the Heavy Urban Search and Rescue team were removing pieces of the structure in an effort to free anyone who might have been trapped.
Kate Matuszewski, a spokeswoman for city, said emergency workers were removed at one point Saturday due to safety issues.
Ontario’s provincial police inspector, Percy Jollymore, urged families with missing loved ones to check in at an information center where police are tracking those who are unaccounted for.
A portion of the roof that serves as a parking area crumbled down two floors into an area near the food court, exposing metal and concrete supports.
Emergency officials quickly cleared out the mall and closed nearby roads after the collapse triggered a gas leak. Mayor Rick Hamilton declared a state of emergency.
Police said 22 people were taken to hospital but none was seriously hurt.
Joe Drazil, a Zellers store employee, said several cars appeared to have fallen through the gaping hole near some escalators.