Man dead after Mississauga mall collapse

(ERNEST DOROSZUK/QMI Agency)

(ERNEST DOROSZUK/QMI Agency)

Terry Davidson, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:33 PM ET

TORONTO — Tension and emotions ran high outside a Mississauga, Ont., shopping centre Monday after a worker died in a partial roof collapse of a Target store under construction.

Workers gathered in small groups just outside the site of the metal skeleton of a building in the Sheridan Centre mall, many grimly shaking their heads.

Metal beams that had formed the frame of the building's roof were bent and twisted and sagged toward the ground.

Emergency personnel had been called to the scene around 11:30 a.m. and found a man trapped beneath the metal.

Mississauga Fire Services platoon chief Mike Corcoran said the victim was pronounced dead after a team from the confined space and trench unit had extracted him from under the metal.

He added that the work environment was "muddy, icy and wet" at the time of the incident.

Iron worker Rob Rowe, 39, didn't know the victim, but said he was part of the crew brought in to install the metal roof decking.

"I just heard the bending of the steel ... I looked up and could see it (caving in)," said Lowe, adding he had talked with the victim "about the weather" moments before the collapse.

Lowe said never in his 13 years in the trade had he seen anything like it, and referred to his job as "dangerous" by its very nature.

Denise Novak, who lives nearby, arrived to make sure her iron-worker nephew, Jesse Novak, was safe.

"His mom was really worried. She had called (Jesse) on his cellphone but he wasn't answering," said Novak, who said she was relieved after locating her nephew.

At one point, a visibly distraught worker, who had been speaking on and off with police at the scene, began screaming at the media, warning that the next reporter to approach him would be punched in the head.

An employee with Vixman Deck and Cladding said the victim, a "young man," had been a worker with the company, but would provide no other details.

As darkness fell, police continued their investigation with the help of outside industrial lighting.

The site had already been visited by inspectors from the Ministry of Labour.


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