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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Emergency officials in Charlotte have released a set of 911 calls from people inside SouthPark Mall last Friday when sections of the roof collapse, causing the mall to flood.
The collapse and flooding has caused dozens of businesses in the mall to be closed for nearly a week, with several businesses reopening for the first time on Wednesday.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police released the calls on Wednesday evening.
Caller: "Yes, I'm at the... the ceiling collapse at SouthPark Mall." 911 operator: "OK. You're out SouthPark Mall and you said the ceiling has collapsed?" Caller: "yes" 911 operator: "OK do you know if anybody is hurt?" Caller: "I can't tell yet" 911 operator: "Can you see sky or is it just like the ceiling tiles?" Caller: "It's just the ceiling, it's like water everywhere."
A section of the mall is still closed near the center of the mall, near the GAP and Banana Republic.
Both businesses had a large section of roof fall into the business after a period of heavy rains hit the area on Friday evening.
Officials with Simon Properties, the company that owns and manages the mall, met with code enforcement officials Tuesday and agreed to hire professional engineers to stay on site and install an interim drainage plan.
With that plan in place, the County Enforcement Office has given approval to open every store within 240 feet of the Gap and Banana Republic, where the majority of the damage occurred.
Charlotte Fire Department spokesman Captain Rob Brisley said that when the roof collapsed in two different sections during a storm on Friday evening, it brought down and damaged water pipes adding to the water that came gushing into the mall.
WBTV investigated to see when SouthPark Mall's last building inspection had occurred.
"In North Carolina - except for North Carolina Fire Prevention Code - local government does not have the authority to do continuing inspections, whether on residential or commercial projects," Jim Bartl, Mecklenburg County Code Enforcement Director, told WBTV.
Bartl says it's up to property owners to do ongoing inspections to make sure they are up to building codes.
"SouthPark would like to thank local authorities, including the Charlotte Fire Department and Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department, and a multitude of contractors for their recent assistance with recovery efforts at the mall," mall officials said on Wednesday.
"SouthPark and public officials have confirmed through extensive inspections and testing by engineers and other safety professionals that the mall is safe."
Officials say mall traffic "remains brisk" now that a majority of stores have now re-opened for business.