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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Duluth, Minnesota. The roof of the shopping center collapsed under the weight of the snow

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Most likely, a large part of the roof of the Miller Hill Mall, which has been operating for 50 years in Duluth, Minnesota, collapsed under the weight of snow. A huge load of snow fell on the hall below, along with ceiling tiles, wires and other structural elements. There are no reports of injured people.

Stores had not yet opened, although workers and walkers were already on the Miller Hill Mall in Duluth when emergency services were called at 9am local time on Tuesday. The report concerned the collapse of a significant part of the roof of the building. An immediate evacuation was carried out. Shops and other establishments in the 75,000-square-metre center have been temporarily closed.

The roof of a shopping center in Duluth, Minnesota collapsed under the weight of snowENEX

Witnesses speak of shock

Barnes & Noble bookstore manager Scott Skar told local media that at one point he heard a loud sound “like something rolling on the roof”. In a moment, in the hall, he saw a mountain of snow, and above his head – a gaping hole. “It was shocking to see the sky open,” he admitted.

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Before the roof collapsed, crews were clearing snow from there, which had fallen a lot in the previous days. Shawn Krizaj, Duluth Fire Chief, said workers stopped work and hurried down the roof when they heard “cracking noises”.

So far, the services have not given official information about what led to the disaster, but it was most likely caused by heavy snowfall over the weekend. The National Weather Service (NWS) branch in Duluth reported that more than 30 cm of snow had fallen in the area. Duluth International Airport has already recorded nearly three meters of snow this season – more than a meter above average.

READ ALSO: Nor’easter attacks the Northeastern US

Noone hurt

The fire department meticulously searched the area to make sure no one was buried under the snow and debris. Krizaj ensured that all center employees and walkers were included. City spokeswoman Kelli Latuska confirmed this.

Miller Hill Mall houses over 100 stores and other facilities. Simon Property Group, which owns the building, issued a statement in which it expressed joy at the lack of injured people and gratitude to the rescue services for the efficient operation.

The fire department has appealed to residents to stay away from the mall and not to use drones in the area.

Gas leak

Immediately after the collapse of the roof, the gas system was unsealed. The gas, water and electricity in the entire building were immediately turned off, and specialists began to assess the situation. Yellow warning tape was hung at the entrances to the premises and customers were turned away before they reached the door.

startribune.com, mprnews.org, NWS, tvnmeteo.pl

Main photo source: ENEX

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