Ministry unsure if alterations led to fall



Tim Wieclawski/metro ottawa


Mark Baum of the Ontario Ministry of Labour said work at 200 Besserer would be suspended until it’s figured out why a portion of wall collapsed Sunday.


The shorings on a section of a construction site wall that collapsed Sunday morning were built differently than the rest of the pit, a labour ministry inspector confirmed yesterday.

Mark Baum, a regional inspection supervisor with the Ministry of Labour, could not say yesterday if the different construction contributed to the collapse, but said an investigation of the other walls of the pit should find they are safe.

“The fact that it is different from any of the other walls means it may have collapsed for potentially different reasons,” said Baum. “We have no reason to believe the other sections should fail.”

Work at 200 Besserer St. — where a 12-storey Richcraft condominium tower will rise — has been temporarily suspended after shorings on the south wall of the pit collapsed early Sunday, swallowing a parked car and forcing the evacuation of several nearby apartment buildings.

“We would hold off any construction activities if we thought the site was unsafe,” said Baum. “We’ve stabilized that rear wall and it continues to be monitored by the construction engineer.”

Yesterday, workers piled rocks against the section of wall that collapsed and covered the wall with tarps to stabilize it.

Engineers decided that it would not be possible to remove the vehicle that slid into the pit, so it was temporarily buried under the support pile.

Evacuated residents at 97 Daly were allowed back into their homes at around noon yesterday, said Isabelle Coady of Ottawa Police.

many inspections

  • Ministry of Labour inspectors last visited the site on May 16 and reported no problems with the section of wall that collapsed. The site was also inspected on Jan. 24 and on April 18.