Three rescued after Canada roof collapses

Wed Mar 12, 2008 6:34pm EDT
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By Natalie Armstrong

TORONTO (Reuters) - Emergency workers managed to pull three badly injured women from the wreckage of a bakery warehouse in a small town north of Montreal, after heavy snow caused its roof to collapse, sparking a fire, Quebec police said on Wednesday.

"The three missing women were found ... badly injured," Sgt. Marc Butz, a spokesman for Surete du Quebec, the provincial police, told Reuters from the scene in Morin Heights, Quebec.

The three women, who were trapped for more than four hours, were taken to hospital in the nearby town of Ste-Agathe-Des-Monts, northwest of Morin Heights, Butz said. They were rescued from the debris in the middle of the warehouse just before 6 p.m. EDT.

Hours earlier, Butz said emergency officials didn't have any contact with people inside the building but had hoped to find them alive.

He said recent heavy snowfalls likely caused the roof of the bakery warehouse, Gourmet du Village, to collapse around 12:50 p.m. EDT.

The search and rescue operation began once fire fighters put out the fire a couple of hours earlier, Butz said, adding it had been difficult because of debris from the blaze.

"We have a building, no roof. It's very hard to describe," he said of the scene. "Everything's finished here, it's a total loss."

(Editing by Rob Wilson)

<p>Firefighters work at the scene, where the roof of a bakery warehouse collapsed, in Morin Heights, Quebec March 12, 2008. Emergency workers are trying to rescue three people trapped inside the warehouse after heavy snow caused its roof to collapse, sparking a fire in a Quebec town north of Montreal, provincial police said on Wednesday. REUTERS/Shaun Best</p>