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Iowa apartment collapse: Authorities call off rescue efforts

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  perrie-halpern  •  last year  •  12 comments

By:   Lindsey Pipia, Dennis Romero, Marlene Lenthang and Shaquille Brewster

Iowa apartment collapse: Authorities call off rescue efforts
A historic six-story apartment building in Davenport, Iowa, that partly collapsed Sunday evening will be demolished this week after a rescue mission for survivors shifted to a search and recovery operation Monday, officials said.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


A historic six-story apartment building in Davenport, Iowa, that partly collapsed Sunday evening will be demolished this week after a rescue mission for survivors shifted to a search and recovery operation Monday, officials said.

Eight people were rescued and an unknown number were injured in the collapse at 324 Main St. just before 5 p.m. Sunday.

Mayor Mike Matson said Monday that K-9 units worked overnight and came up with no hits for people and that they had left the scene Monday afternoon.

The building is expected to be demolished Tuesday morning, the city of Davenport said in a statement.

Control of the property site was turned over to the Davenport Development and Neighborhood Services Department, and the owner of the property was served with a notice and an order for demolition of the property, the city said.

"Due to the unstable condition of the property, and in the interest of public safety, residents will not be allowed back into the building," the statement said.

20230528-davenport-iowa-apt-collapse-mc-1106p-5c71c6.jpg Onlookers watch as emergency crews work the scene of a partial building collapse Sunday on Main Street in Davenport, Iowa. Nikos Frazier / AP

Jarring photos show a chunk of the building's red brick exterior destroyed, exposing the steel beams and walls within.

The collapse may have caused a large natural gas leak and water to leak from each floor, Davenport Fire Chief Mike Carlsten said Sunday.

Seven people were rescued in the hours after the collapse, and first responders helped more than a dozen as they left the building, Carlsten said. The seven people who were rescued were treated on site, he said, indicating relatively minor injuries.

An eighth person was rescued during an overnight search and taken to a hospital, Matson said Monday. He said the person has "some sort of surgery" scheduled for Monday and is in "pretty bad shape."

Officials said earlier Monday they were still determining how many people could be unaccounted for.

"I'm praying that there's nobody left in there," Matson said by the afternoon, noting that dogs searched the building for six hours.

"As right now, we haven't identified anybody else" who could still be in the building, he said.

Some people pleaded on social media for information about the whereabouts of loved ones who lived in the building.

Pauletta Brooks said Monday her grandmother Lisa Brooks, 52, lived in the building and was missing after the collapse.

Pauletta Brooks was at 324 Main St. earlier Sunday and had gone out with some family members when she got a call about a gas leak at the apartment complex around 5 p.m. Family members then called Lisa Brooks and told her to evacuate the building.

"We called her and told her to escape the building, but the phone hung up. And we couldn't get in contact with her since then," Pauletta Brooks said.

She said her grandmother, who moved into the complex two months ago, said she was heading out before the connection cut out.

"Right now I feel like ... from the looks of it the news isn't getting no better," Pauletta Brooks said. "I just know what's coming. I feel like it's either she's in the building still or she's stuck."

The cause of the collapse was still under investigation, with city structural experts expected to examine the building, officials said. Matson said the building was still structurally unsound Monday morning.

The building is constructed of brick over steel and concrete, according to the city's public library.

Rich Oswald, the city's director of development and neighborhood services, said the property's ownership had "permit issues" for exterior brick work. In addition, he said, the owners were under city orders to make specific repairs and upgrades.

Reports of bricks falling in recent days were related to that work, he said. The condition of the building in downtown Davenport was the subject of numerous resident complaints, officials acknowledged at the news conference.

"The tenants of this building are pretty active," Oswald said. "They've called the city numerous times with complaints."

Matson addressed reports of complaints about the building: "We know some of the complaints, our folks go and look into those complaints, do inspections. But the owner of that facility hired an outside engineering firm to evaluate the structure and sign off on the structure.

"They have been doing some fixes. But future-going, we'll see where this goes," he said.

The Quad-City Times of Davenport reported the building is owned by Andrew Wold. He could immediately be reached for comment Monday. City documents show that entities called 324 Main Street Project and the Davenport Project have long planned improvements to the building while seeking tax breaks.

The building, in the Cork Hill District, was completed in 1907 and was home to the Davenport Hotel, the city's finest accommodations at the time. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


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devangelical
Professor Principal
1  devangelical    last year

I'm pretty sure I stayed in this place with my dad when it was a hotel back in 1970. we flew out there to drive a cement mixer back to denver for my uncle's company. I remember that it was the only hotel in town and a dump back then too.

 
 
 
Ender
Professor Principal
2  Ender    last year

So the owners were able to hire out of state inspectors while applying for tax breaks...

 
 
 
evilone
Professor Guide
2.1  evilone  replied to  Ender @2    last year

We could fix this by removing the requirement for safety inspections altogether... said some Republic lawmaker getting a big donation from the construction lobby. /s

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
2.2  Trout Giggles  replied to  Ender @2    last year

How does that work?

Iowa must have some shitty code laws

 
 
 
Ender
Professor Principal
2.2.1  Ender  replied to  Trout Giggles @2.2    last year

I thought it was odd they are going to demolish it so quickly. I would have thought they would want to examine it more and see what exactly happened.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
2.2.2  devangelical  replied to  Ender @2.2.1    last year

heaven forbid that anyone be held accountable...

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2.3  Kavika   replied to  Ender @2    last year

It's the American way. 

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Junior Expert
2.3.1  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  Kavika @2.3    last year

I think that the  demolition plans have been moved to the right when a ninth survivor was found late on Monday,

I think the issue is weighing the balance between rescue crew safety and the probability of finding the two that may still be in there.

When crews went into the the ruble, the structure shifted at points.   

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
3  Trout Giggles    last year
The building, in the Cork Hill District, was completed in 1907 and was home to the Davenport Hotel, the city's finest accommodations at the time. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

It was.....

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
3.1  devangelical  replied to  Trout Giggles @3    last year

the city was probably dragging it's feet in hopes of curing their local homeless problem.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Junior Expert
3.1.1  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  devangelical @3.1    last year

How was this a cure?

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
3.1.2  Vic Eldred  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @3.1.1    last year

The idea is to say something.  I'll explain it to you later.

 
 

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