Engineer charged in collapse of shopping mall roof in Canada

Jan. 31, 2014 at 3:02 PM   |   Comments

TORONTO, Jan. 31 (UPI) -- Ontario authorities Friday charged an engineer who inspected a Canadian shopping mall that later collapsed with criminal negligence causing death.

Two people were killed in June when the roof of the Algo Centre Mall in Elliot Lake collapsed, trapping two women. The bodies of Doloris Perizzolo, 74, and Lucie Aylwin, 37, were eventually recovered from under tons of concrete and debris. At least 30 people were injured.

Robert Wood, 64, an engineer from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, was charged with two counts of criminal negligence causing death and one count of criminal negligence causing bodily harm, the Toronto Star reported.

A court appearance was scheduled for March 25 on the charges, Ontario Provincial Police said. He also faces a charge of giving "negligent advice" by the provincial Ministry of Labor.

In 2010, Wood was convicted of professional misconduct at another site when he was an employee of the now-defunct firm M.R. Wright and Associates, which was contracted to inspect the mall for safety violations, the Star said.

Witnesses testifying at a judicial inquiry said the mall, which had rooftop parking, had a leaky roof, water and salt seepage and rust that never was repaired. The mall was inspected as recently as April 2012.

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