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加国无忧 51.CA 2012年6月30日 09:17 来源:51周报 作者:文世昌 [ 加大字体缩小字体 ]

商场屋顶坍塌事件引发政府反应迟钝

MALL DISASTER RESCUE MISSION 


6月23日,安省艾略湖(Elliot Lake)市Algo Centre Mall雅高中心商场停车场屋顶坍塌 ,灾难发生到了第四天,至少有两人被困在钢筋溷泥土废墟中,其中一人已确定死亡,逾20人受伤,失踪人数由最初的9人,增至12人。

各大主流报章,高度重视这宗严重事故。标题均以DISASTER 灾难或TRAGEDY悲剧来形容。

Toronto Star《多伦多星报》6月27日的社论,标题是:MALL TRAGEDY: Elliot Lake’s dark hour(艾略湖市黑暗的时刻),电子版的标题换上:Elliot Lake mall collapse raises questions about emergency response,内文表示对最有可能救出被困瓦砾人士的「黄金72小时」,在一连串溷乱的搜救安排中流逝,十分愤慨,并且提出一连串问题和质疑:

Could the effort have been better organized from the get-go? Did Emergency Management Ontario rise to the challenge? Were enough properly trained and equipped rescuers called in soon enough? Should heavy lifting equipment have been ordered in earlier? Were the HUSAR and OPP teams adequately prepared?

Why were people initially told the search was off, only to be told after McGuinty’s plea that it would go in a new direction using heavy machinery to clear a path for rescue/recovery teams? That left people scrambling to raise volunteer search parties in the interim。

Finally, were warning signs ignored? The owner spent heavily on repairs and the structure was apparently deemed safe。 But mall-goers say that roof leaks and other problems were common。 What does this say about Ontario’s inspection regime?

STAR《 星报》同一日刊出评论员Rosie Dimanno的文章An indefensible delay,她也用上非常凌厉的笔锋,大事谴责救援工作的进度缓慢和欠缺协调,认为有人48小时便abandoned rescue mission放弃救人重任,进入recovery operation清理现场的决定,不可饶恕,况且,race against time, 救人争分夺秒,简直难以接受,她说:In a crisis where minutes literally matter, this is simply insupportable。人命关天,不到最后一刻,不容放弃:

In a mining town like Elliot Lake, this gospel of “Nobody left behind” is well understood: Searches are never suspended, whether proof of life exists or not。

她认为这种政府部门缺乏协调,行动絮乱,反应迟钝的情况发生在加拿大,简直不可思议,令人失望:

Amidst calamity, Canada has shown itself, shockingly, to be worse than a Third World country, sluggish, confused and entangled in red tape。 

 A palpable lack of coordination between levels of government and departments within them; an astonishing inability to react with alacrity when time is of the essence。

TorontoSun 《多伦多太阳报 》的评论员Lorrie Goldstein,更进一步,以Why did Elliot Lake rescue take so long?为题,文章内容直接触及问题症结所在:安省省长介入,决定重新启动救人工作,虽然诚意可嘉,但是,到了今时今日,加拿是否需要48小时,才可以协调各方的人手和先进器械,紧急处理一个小镇的意外:How, in a post-9/11 world in Ontario, Canada, is it possible that an all-out rescue effort to save what could be up to a dozen people trapped in a mall collapse in Elliot Lake took more than 48 hours to get underway?

他又质疑:假如灾难发生在多伦多闹市咱的大商场,例如 Eaton Centre 或 Yorkdale Mall会不会有不同标准?

 If this collapse had been at the Eaton Centre or Yorkdale in Toronto, does anyone think it would have taken two days for the premier to ask rescuers to consider doing everything possible to search for survivors, to publicly put the province’s full resources behind the effort and to call on the prime minister to brief him as a possible prelude to requesting help from the military?

加国 无忧 51.CA



灾难事故关键性的转折点,是省长的介入是不是来得太迟?正如Globe and Mail《环球邮报》6月27日头版头条新闻标题:Preimier faces questions over stop-start rescue, 报导开头一段这样说:

Ontario’s Premier acknowledges that confusion and delays in the effort to reach possible survivors of a shopping mall roof collapse have raised concerns about the province’s capacity to respond to serious emergencies。

事缘6月25日星期一,HUSAR(Toronoto’s Heavy Urban Search and Rescue) spokesman发言人 Bill Neadles announced at press conference that Minister of Labour 劳工厅长 had deemed that the site unsafe, forcing a halt to rescue operations,多伦多坍塌搜救专队,以商场结构不稳为由,宣布停止搜救。消息即时引起失踪待救者家属人员的反感:reeling with shock, anger and grief,惹起全市outrage公愤,省长McGuinty麦坚迪随即干预,下令use more mechanical means and  resume the rescue operations,搜救工作继续,并大派定心丸,称全省 1,300万人都会支持艾略湖市,当局会用尽所有方法, 拯救被困瓦砾的人: “ I believe we owe it to the families waiting for word of their loved ones to leave no stone unturned。 We owe that to the people of Elliot Lake too。 ”

 虽然HUSAR向联邦政府负责,但当进入危机阶段,执行命令便属于各省政府紧急管理部门的范畴:Although the HUSAR units ultimately report to the federal government 。But when crisis strikes, the chain of command is provincial, and in this instance authority rests with the province’s Emergency Management Ontario。 

《太阳报》评论员Goldstein毫不客气指出:省长,内阁人员,或者负责相关职务的厅长,敏感度和危机反应,是否有所不足呢?引起公愤后才有所行动?是不是后知后觉?

But what is deeply disturbing is that it apparently took public outrage by the people of Elliot Lake to restart the rescue effort and get McGuinty and his government doing what they should have been doing from the start。

《星报》和《太阳报》都有直接或间接批评安省政府,责难这次灾难的救援工作,有关权责的连繫和协调,溷乱及不足。

Our focus is on the rescue。当前的首要任务,自然是全力抢救,尘埃落定后,才是检讨和追究得失的时刻:once the Elliot Lake rescue /recovery is complete, McGuinty should seek answers to those life-and death questions as quoted above in Star’s editorial。

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