MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Eastdale Mall reopened Tuesday afternoon, two days after closing because a man was found dead inside a bathroom and a Freon gas leak was discovered nearby. The two incidents have not been officially linked. Autopsy results on the cause of death could take several weeks.
The mall unlocked its doors at 6:00pm after tests indicated that air inside the complex was safe to breath.
Several stores including Belk, Dillards and J.C. Pennys decided earlier in the day to reopen their doors, though the mall itself remained closed.
Montgomery Fire Chief M. Jordan assured customers the facility was safe to enter after numerous tests were conducted. "Once again the only reason that it was closed...was as a precaution to ensure the safety of our citizens..." he said.
Eastdale Mall General Manager Dave Schloss issued the following statement:
With regard to the process we followed to make sure the mall is safe, after fear of a concentrated leak of Freon we asked experts with the highest qualifications for assessing air quality, known as Industrial Hygienists and certified by the American Board of Industrial Hygiene to conduct whatever inspections and studies they considered necessary to make an independent and certain determination about the safety of the mall. Studies were conducted yesterday and today by Bhate Environmental Associates, Inc., Environmental Hazmat Services, Inc., and Environmental Education and Consulting, Inc. All of the tests conducted by these three and by all others show that the air in Eastdale Mall is as clean as in any normal building anywhere. In other words, it is now entirely clear that the mall is safe.
WSFA 12 News will continue to follow this story with the latest developments as they become available.