Desperate search for survivors after apartment building collapses in Iowa

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A desperate search is underway to save possible survivors of an apartment building collapse in Davenport, Iowa.

Part of a red-brick building on the city’s main road collapsed around 5 pm on Sunday, with stunning pictures showing at least one-fourth of the structure’s units destroyed. A total of eight people had been pulled out of the debris till Monday morning.

Davenport Fire Chief Michael Carlston said during a press conference that no deaths had been reported and the number of possible missing remains unknown.

Mr Carlston said the cause of the collapse had not been determined, but residents were making several 911 calls reporting a “strong smell of gas”.

The officials detected a gas leak after the collapse and water seepage was also found throughout the floor of the structure. Rescue crews from the Iowa and Illinois Quad-Cities area are expected to complete the operation today before entering the recovery phase of their response.

building resident lexus berry told Quad-City Times that he narrowly escaped but his wife and cats were trapped when the building collapsed. Ms Berry had taken pictures of the separation between the wall and the bathroom door before trying to protect her.

Ms Berry told the outlet, “We both grabbed our cats, he grabbed one, I grabbed one, got to the door.” “I looked at him, and everything just came crashing down and everything came crashing down on me, and I barely got out the door… There was nothing left of where I was standing. Everything else was gone.

Robert Robinson, who lives on the second floor, also recalled the moments before the building collapsed. times That he went outside for a smoke break and went back inside as soon as the alarm went off.

“That’s when we started going back to the lights,” he told the newspaper. “Suddenly everyone started running out saying that the building had collapsed. I’m glad we came down when we did.

Officials update media, residents and onlookers after a partial building collapse on the 300 block of Main Street


Emergency crews work the scene of a partial building collapse on the 300 block of Main Street on Sunday, May 28, 2023


Mr. Robinson and his girlfriend were able to take the elevator down in time, he said.

“It’s terrible,” he said. “We have nowhere to go. nothing to eat.”

Tad Machowec, a contractor in Davenport, said he was inside working on installing a support beam when the building came down.

Residents of the building had long complained about problems with it. Last year, about 20 permits were filed, mainly according to plumbing or electrical issues. associated Press,

The final permit for the building was filed on March 2 and listed “Miscellaneous” in the description.

Emergency workers work at the scene of a partial apartment building collapse in Davenport, Iowa


The façade of the red brick building was torn down, exposing the apartment units inside


The first 911 call reporting the collapse came in around 5 a.m. Sunday night. When first responders arrived, they found the rear of the building, a mix of residential and commercial spaces, collapsed.

According to Davenport Mayor Mike Mattson, the building contained 84 units.

“When something like this happens here, and tragedy strikes, our responders immediately do their job and their job and I can’t thank them enough,” Mr Mattson said at a press conference.

Resident Todd Wilson said he received a call from the city last year telling him to vacate his apartment within 48 hours because bricks were falling.

“What they did was the ownership changed and they gave it time to fix it, but they didn’t do it right,” Mr Wilson said. Times.

Emergency crews work at the scene of a partial building collapse on the 300 block of West Third Street

(Quad City Times)

A school bus walks through the debris after the building collapsed on Sunday.

(Quad City Times)

A working phone number for the building owner was not immediately available.

Jennifer Smith said she learned about the blaze from her husband, who works for Mid-American Energy.

“He was on call and the city called to a building explosion. We didn’t know it was our building,” she said. “It sounds bad, but we’ve been calling the city since December and giving complaints. Our bathroom fell in in December.

Ms Smith said water damage has been evident since they moved into their space over the winter. Company co-owner Donte Mack said firefighters were in the building as recently as Thursday for an inspection.

“The tenants told us the building was about to collapse,” Ms Smith said.