Walmart to reopen today after car crashed through parkade wall and fell into store

Walmart’s supercentre store at the Uptown shopping centre remained closed Monday with plans to reopen this morning following a car crash in the covered parking area.

The remainder of the shopping centre was open.

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Repair work has started and is expected to be completed in coming weeks, Kirsty Lowes, Uptown’s manager, said Monday.

A vehicle crashed through a wall in Uptown’s covered parkade late Friday afternoon.

Three Walmart employees were trapped in a cooler in the deli section of the store. They were freed and treated at the scene.

A Saanich Fire Department official said the vehicle went through a thin concrete wall on the parkade’s upper level and fell through the ceiling.

The driver was also treated at the scene.

Although the main store is opening, the deli department remains closed as repairs continue on that part of the store, said Walmart spokesperson ­Felicia Fefer.

“The safety and well-being of our associates is a top ­priority,” she said.

“While the store has been closed, associates not working have been paid for their scheduled shifts. We do have counselling services and support available for our associates.”

Saanich police are investi­gating and expect more information to be available soon. Few details have been released so far.

Walmart has been closed since the incident due to remediation work on the damaged area and plans to reopen at 8 a.m. today, Lowes said.

Uptown’s structural engineering team visited the site immediately Friday after the crash and “deemed affected area and property structures as safe,” she said.

Saanich has not been involved beyond its initial response with from first responders, said municipal spokeswoman Kelsie McLeod. “A [building] permit has not been required or issued at this point.”

Ivy Yuen of WorkSafe B.C. said the office was notified Monday morning of the crash. A WorkSafe official has been assigned to the site. It is possible an inspection report will be available next week.

cjwilson@timescolonist.com

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