Roof collapses at Southland Mall after heavy rains

(WMC) - Part of the roof collapsed at Southland Mall on Thursday due to the heavy rain, which caused an area of the mall to flood.

The collapse was centered primarily above Discount Wigs 3. Fortunately, no was injured. However, businesses may, in fact, suffer the most.

A shopper's cell phone video from inside Southland Mall captured the immediate aftermath of a partial roof collapse early Thursday afternoon.

Fred Dandridge walks five miles daily inside the mall. He watched as the main section of the mall was closed following a mandatory evacuation minutes after the roof caved in.

Memphis Fire Director, Alvin Benson and others suspected the roof could not possibly handle the load from heavy rains Thursday morning.

"You always want to get on the side of caution every time,and there could be electrical issues with water,so, we want to make sure everybody's safe," Benson said. "Standing water on a roof is a lot of weight and that weight can compromise a roof."

Onlookers say that the roof may have had pre-existing structural problems.

Sears and Macy's never closed but there is no word as of Thursday afternoon on when the main mall might re-open.

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