Names of Elliot Lake Mall victims released (video, photos)Wednesday, June 27, 2012 by: Carol Martin
At a news conference early this evening Ontario Premier confirmed the identities of the two people killed when a huge slab of the rooftop parking lot of the Algo Centre Mall in Elliot Lake gave way and plummeted through the floor below.
Lucie Aylwin, 37, and Doloris Perizzolo, believed to be in her seventies, were identified as the two victims of the collapse.
Both were found within five metres of a large chunk of debris that was hung up on one of the two sets of escalators.
It wasn't the miracle Tracy and Joan from Mum's Restaurant were hoping for as they kept vigil outside the mall on Tuesday, waiting for the giant crane they believed would dig out their friend and return her to them safely.
"This is who we're waiting for," said Tracy. (Shown with a picture of Aylwin). "She's alive and she's going to come out of there. Maybe not completely okay, but alive."
Tracy and Joan are two sisters among eight family members who worked in or operated the restaurant directly to the northeast of the where the collapse happened.
They and other family members, as well as to unrelated employees of the restaurant were among 26 people who narrowly escaped being caught in the collapse that ultimately claimed the life of their friend and Perizzolo.
"That was the true miracle," said Staff-Inspector Bill Neadles, the commander for Toronto’s Heavy Urban Search and Rescue team at a news conference earlier today.
Just last night Neadles and the team working on reaching the two missing women managed to restore footage from security cameras that had a view of the area buried in the rubble from the collapse.
He said it was a miracle there weren't more people seriously injured.
When the team viewed the camera footage they realized there were 26 people directly in the path of danger even as late as seconds before the roof came crashing down but only two were caught under it.
22 people who were in the mall were sent to hospital and released after treatment of injuries sustained from flying debris when the roof collapsed on Saturday at 2:20 p.m.
Tomorrow will be the search and rescue team's last day in Elliot Lake but it is only the beginning of a long road for the community.
The Algo Centre Mall was, in many ways, the heart of Elliot Lake.
It housed an office of Algoma Public Health, Curves, Dorlene, Marlin Travel, Pet Valu, Foodland, Dollarama, Zellers, Thomsen's Jewelers, The Real Estate Stop, the Elliot Lake Public Library, a variety of provincial and federal offices and constituency offices of Carol Hughes, MP for Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing and Michael Mantha, MPP for Algoma-Manitoulin and the Algo Inn, a 77-room hotel.
"Now there isn't even anywhere for people to buy children's clothing," said Hughes.
There is another hotel, but it's only 55 rooms.
There's also another grocery store but it's smaller.
Office space in Elliot Lake suddenly became much harder to find on Saturday.
And no one will be able to reclaim anything that was left behind during the evacuation of the mall.
Not only have Tracy, Joan and their family lost a friend, but they've lost all the equipment, and personal items that were in the restaurant, including a picture of their mother who passed away and for whom the restaurant is named.
And a lottery ticket the staff of Mum's went in on together to purchase from the lottery kiosk where Aylwin was working when the roof collapsed.