WEST BRANCH (WWJ) – A roof collapsed Thursday at Tanger Outlets in West Branch.

It happened at around 1:30 p.m. at the Polo Ralph Lauren Factory store.

Remarkably, no one was hurt, but shoppers were evacuated from the mall as a precaution.

“The mall itself runs maybe a quarter of a mile, and … the collapsed part of the roof — I’m estimating at this point now — is maybe 150 feet in from our end,”  a mall employee who didn’t want to give his name, told WWJ late Thursday afternoon.

“The walls are beginning to cave into our building on the outside,” he said

The employee said he thinks the heavy snow on the roof have caused the collapse, but Tanger Outlet spokesperson Quentin Pell said they’re not sure yet if that’s a fact.

“We immediately evacuated West Branch Center and we are working with safety officials to investigators to find out what caused it — and to prevent it in the future,” said Pell, adding that they are looking into snow removal.

He said outlet management is committed to making sure the mall is safe before reopening.



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