Engineer charged in connection with Elliot Lake mall collapse


Criminal charges have been laid against a former engineer in connection with the fatal roof collapse of the Elliot Lake shopping mall.

In a brief news conference this morning, the Ontario Provincial Police announced that Robert G.H. Wood, 64, has been charged with two counts of criminal negligence causing death and one count of criminal negligence causing bodily harm. His first court appearance is scheduled for March 25.

Wood was the last person to conduct a structural inspection of the doomed mall—concluding just ten weeks before the collapse that the building was “structurally sound.” Though a respected engineer for four decades, Wood was not licensed at the time of the inspection; his credentials had been revoked the previous year because of the “professional misconduct” he displayed on an unrelated job.

Last year, the Ontario Ministry of Labour filed its own provincial offences charges against Wood, including one count of “providing negligent advice.”

More to come.

Related link: One Step from Death: An interactive look at the day the mall came down.

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Engineer charged in connection with Elliot Lake mall collapse

  1. About time!

    • Yes, but not enough. His role was very small. I don’t see management being accountable for paying to have the defects covered up and painted over so the inspector could see the cracks.

      Inspector may be a fall guy for the bigger crimes. I don’t mean to defend him, just realize he is a small part in a much bigger corruption problem.

      Pretty obvious back room power want him to be the fall guy but reality is management paid to cover it up.

  2. In keeping with Canada`s “Justice” system after a long
    and costly trial(at taxpayers expense) He will receive a slap on the wrist ,
    and no time served.
    In Canada, holding individuals responsible for the harm they inflict on others is just NOT POLITICALLY CORRECT.

  3. Good first step. But no managers yet charged says it all. I am sure the engineer had a lot of pressure from politicians and management to ignore the problems. Maybe someday media will interview the engineer and get the real back end story to this.

    In Bangladesh they already have management in jail and a few inspectors fired. Yet we have lots of talk…

    BTW, I don’t mean to defend the engineering inspector, just realize its the tip of the iceberg. Fact is this goes on in every city in Canada including collapsed bridges.

    Remember too, management spent money to deliberately hide the crack damages. Yet no charges for management on this criminal negligence.

    • No other charges yet. I look forward to more people being charged. Not just the current owner, but also the previous owners who were just as culpable.

    • agreed. “…Wood was not licensed at the time of the inspection…” -that alone proves “management” did not even attempt to do their own “legally” pre-required homework, and/or, they were already aware that the building was not structurally sound. They should have dragged in the whole lot of them, from the management, to the Concrete-pourers, …, to the General Contractor(s),- who definitely would have known about the potential consequences.
      What about the City Engineering approval departments …?
      For gawd-sakes, and this was a “PUBLIC” Mall ?!!!

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