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State of emergency in Elliot Lake after rooftop parking lot collapses

Two people are missing after a rooftop parking garage collapsed at an Elliot Lake, Ont., mall on Saturday afternoon, Ontario Provincial Police tell CityNews.

Mayor Rick Hamilton declared a state of emergency at 3:55 p.m. and the OPP’s Urban Search and Rescue Team has been called in.

Officers are also evacuating the Algo Centre Mall due to a natural gas leak in the area. Officials have shut off the power and closed surrounding roads as crews search for possible victims.

The Elliot Lake Standard reports that two vehicles may have gone through the roof, landing near the food court and lottery kiosk.

Kevin McSheffrey, a reporter at the newspaper, told CityNews he was in the mall when it happened.

“I was covering a dinner theatre that was in there. We thought it was part of the act at first, that it was thunder that was part of the show,” she said.

“When the floor started shaking, we knew it wasn’t part of the show.”

McSheffrey said the alarms then went off and he and his wife went out the side door.

“We couldn’t even see the escalators from the door. We could just see a cloud of white,” he said.

The OPP has set up an information centre at the Collins Hall on Hillside Drive North.