Responding to the anger and frustration of residents, Neadles was quoted in the “National Post” as saying:
We’ve had the best of the best in town here, and I know that’s difficult for people to accept given some of the things that have occurred. But I assure you that there was never any intention for that . . . . team to leave this community.
The reassurance is small comfort to those who watched and waited and hoped. One of the watchers posted several videos, including the one below, on a blog he started to provide a local view of the tragedy.
Right now the focus is on clearing the rubble and making sure no one is still trapped or dead. A relief fund is collecting money for people affected by the tragedy, including 300 who no longer have jobs. Donations can be made via Scotiabank, Royal Bank, Toronto Dominion, CIBC, Bank of Montreal and the Northern Credit Union.
The question that will remain and cast a shadow over this small Ontario community is why their safety did not matter enough to ensure the mall was adequately maintained. The Elliot Lake blogger put it this way:
Several years ago, leaks were forcing merchants to shut their stores as water was damaging their wares. An architect apparently warned that if moisture accumulated in some of the fibreboard pads lining the roof’s concrete slabs, the pads could deteriorate. This goes in line with why the roof may have collapsed.
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Photos from Elliot Lake blogger's video
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