Head of search and rescue team back on stand at Elliot Lake inquiry

ELLIOT LAKE, Ont. – The head of the disaster team dispatched to last year’s mall collapse in Elliot Lake, Ont., will testify again today at an inquiry into the tragedy.

Toronto police Staff Inspector Bill Neadles testified yesterday about the scramble to deploy a heavy search and rescue team after the collapse that left two women dead.

Neadles has yet to react to comments from a crane company owner that his urban search team was essentially clueless when it arrived and lacked the equipment it needed.

He may react when he continues testifying today.

Neadles told the inquiry yesterday that about three dozen men made the seven-hour trek — half a normal team complement.

They arrived in the early hours of the next day in pouring rain with little solid information or a plan of action.