Mariott on Peel St. deemed safe
Published Wednesday, January 6, 2010 10:25AM EST
The city of Montreal has declared a downtown building to be safe, nearly six months after falling concrete killed a woman in front of her husband.
On Tuesday, an engineering firm finally informed the city that the facade of the building was secure, after it had been reinforced with steel bolts.
An 800-pound concrete slab fell off the side of a 17th-floor window of the Mariott hotel on Peel St. in July, killing Lea Guilbeault, 33, as she dined at Mikasa restaurant below.
Mayor Gerald Tremblay has criticized the building owner, saying they were taking too long to produce an engineer's report.
"It takes time for engineers to collect samples and have them analyzed," said Christine Grant, from the Regie du Batiment, the building inspection agency. She said the agency still can't confirm what caused the slab to fall.
A coroner is now studying the engineer's report.
The sidewalk in front of the hotel was shut down to pedestrians for weeks, while Mikasa restaurant was closed for four months.
"We lost employees, we lost revenue," said owner Truc Luong, adding that business continues to be slow in the six weeks since it has reopened.
"People were not sure whether it was safe or not," said Luong.
Still, some Montreals said they were pleased with the findings.
"I think it's probably safer than most building now since they did a really thorough job on the concrete," said one woman as she passed the building. "More than that, I hope that buildings of the same structure are verified by the city."