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Full coverage of the Elliot Lake report

Oct. 14, 2014, Elliot Lake, Ont. – Fire Fighting in Canada editor Laura King is in Elliot Lake this week for the release of the report into the collapse of the Algo Centre mall and the emergency response to it. Follow Laura on Twitter at @fireincanada and click here to see the latest blogs and news stories.

October 14, 2014
By Laura King

Oct. 14, 2014, Elliot Lake, Ont. – Fire Fighting in Canada editor Laura King is in Elliot Lake this week for the release of the report into the collapse of the Algo Centre mall and the emergency response to it. Follow Laura on Twitter at @fireincanada


Oct. 15, 2014, Elliot Lake, Ont. – In case you had trouble reading between the lines earlier today when I wrote about the poorly executed emergency response to the mall collapse here in June 2012, let me spell it out for you. Basically, as we heard during the seven-month inquiry into the collapse and the response to it – and as inquiry commissioner Paul Belanger reiterated in his report – no one had a Plan B, a what-to-do-next strategy after traditional heavy urban search and rescue methods to find two women buried in the rubble proved no match for the concrete and steel of the Algo Centre. | READ MORE

Oct. 15, 2014, Elliot Lake, Ont. – The emergency response to the collapse of the Algo Centre mall was poorly executed and only intervention by former premier Dalton McGuinty after the search had been called off led to the resumption of the operation, inquiry commissioner Paul Belanger said Wednesday. | READ MORE

Oct. 14, 2014, Toronto – Three of Canada’s four remaining HUSAR teams are likely to downsize and become regional response teams without renewed federal funding for the heavy urban search and rescue sector. | READ MORE

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Oct. 12, 2014, Toronto – If a mall in small-town Ontario collapsed today, would the emergency response be any different than it was on June 23, 2012, in Elliot Lake? | READ MORE

Nov. 13, 2013, Elliot Lake, Ont. – Yesterday, in Elliot Lake, the lawyer for the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs expanded on the association’s written summation; today, I will do the same. | READ MORE

Nov. 12, 2013, Elliot Lake, Ont. – This morning, in Elliot Lake, Ont., lawyers for the parties involved the rescue portion of the inquiry into the collapse of the Algo Centre mall in June 2012 give their final summations. | READ MORE

Sept. 11, 2013, Elliot Lake, Ont. – HUSAR team leader Bill Neadles said Wednesday that he made the decision to pull his rescue team out of the collapsed Algo Centre mall in Elliot Lake. | READ MORE

Sept. 11, 2013, Elliot Lake – Communication among rescuers over operations at the site of the Algo Centre mall collapse failed, the inquiry into the rescue portion of the incident heard Wednesday morning. | READ MORE

Sept. 10, 2013, Elliot Lake, Ont. – The HUSAR leader has final authority at a rescue scene when it works with the smaller OPP UCRT team, Bill Neadles said Tuesday at the inquiry into the June 2012 collapse of the Algo Centre mall. | READ MORE

Sept. 10, 2013, Elliot Lake, Ont. – I’m back in Elliot Lake this week to hear HUSAR’s Bill Neadles testify – he’s on the stand now (check back later for a story). And while I can’t be here every day, I have been paying rapt attention to the testimony, and it’s worth reviewing. | READ MORE

Sept. 5, 2013, Toronto – So, it turns out, the friction between the members of the OPP’s rescue team, known as UCRT, and the Toronto-based HUSAR team who were searching for victims of the Algo Centre mall collapse in Elliot Lake last summer wasn’t as bad those of us paying close attention had been led to believe. | READ MORE

Sept. 3, 2013, Toronto – The Ministry of Labour cannot stop a rescue operation due to safety concerns because firefighters are exempt from Occupational Health and Safety regulations under certain circumstances, the inquiry into the collapse of the Algo Centre mall heard on Friday. | READ MORE

Aug. 28, 2013, Toronto – An OPP constable told the inquiry into the collapse of the Algo Centre mall in Elliot Lake on Wednesday that there was considerable confusion over an apparent order by the Ministry of Labour to shut down the search for victims. | READ MORE

Aug. 28, 2012, Toronto – An Ontario Provincial Police dog handler told the inquiry into the collapse of the Algo Centre mall in Elliot Lake, Ont., Tuesday that there was tension between the two rescue teams at the scene. | READ MORE

Aug. 27, 2013, Toronto – In case some of you found it difficult to read between the lines of the stories, tweets and blogs from the Elliot Lake inquiry last week, let me spell out a couple of the more interesting revelations. | READ MORE

Aug. 23, 2013, Elliot Lake, Ont. – The two provincial rescue teams that responded to the Algo Centre mall collapse in June 2012 had not trained together regularly and have no plans to do so, OPP Chief. Supt. Robert Bruce said Friday at the commission of inquiry into the incident. | READ MORE

Aug. 22, 2013 – Elliot Lake Fire Chief Paul Officer said Thursday that it didn’t matter whether there was a Ministry of Labour order prohibiting emergency workers from entering the collapsed Algo Centre mall because engineers’ reports indicated the building was too dangerous to continue the search for victims. | READ MORE

Aug. 22, 2013 – The search for victims of the Elliot Lake mall collapse was stopped because responders believed there had been an order issued by the Ministry of Labour that prohibited them from entering the building after the operation turned into a recovery from a rescue. | READ MORE

Aug. 21, 2013 – Fire Chief Paul Officer said Wednesday that the Ontario Ministry of Labour does not have the authority to regulate an emergency rescue scene because different rules apply in emergencies than in industrial operations. | READ MORE

Aug. 20, 2013 – An Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) constable who took aerial photos and videos the of the Elliot Lake mall collapse from an OPP helicopter testified Tuesday that he did not know if anyone told the incident commander he was going to do so. | READ MORE

Aug. 20, 2013 – Elliot Lake Fire Department Capt. John Thomas resumed his testimony this morning here in Elliot Lake, a picturesque city dotted with freshwater lakes and a proud history of mining. | READ MORE


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