Davenport officials: No casualties, no known injuries in Iowa building collapse

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — There are no confirmed deaths and no known injuries after a six-story apartment building partially collapsed in the eastern Iowa city of Davenport, authorities said Monday.

Davenport Fire Chief Michael Carlston said at a news conference Monday that workers searched through the night for survivors and rescued one person from the six-story building — bringing the total number of people rescued by fire officials to eight. An additional 12 people were evacuated by fire crews when they first responded to the collapse Sunday evening.

“No known individuals were trapped in the facility,” Carlston said. Authorities have not released details on how many people were injured or the nature of their injuries. Carlston said the man who was rescued was in hospital overnight.

Rescue crews, including K-9 units, remained inside the building throughout the night.

“When something like this happens here, and tragedy strikes, our responders immediately do their job and do their job and I can’t thank them enough,” Davenport Mayor Mike Matson said.

Rescuers were called to the scene just before 5pm on Sunday. Carlston said the rear of the apartment complex collapsed and separated from the building, which has apartments on the upper floors and businesses on the ground level.

Officials found a gas leak after the collapse, Carlston said, while water also seeped across the structure’s floors.

The stability of the building was still a concern.

Carlston said officials are “currently wrapping up the rescue phase of our operation, which will soon become a rescue operation.”

The reason for the decline was not immediately known.

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Rich Oswald, the city’s director of development and neighborhood services, said at a news conference Sunday that work was underway on the building’s exterior at the time of the collapse.

Reports of bricks falling from the building earlier this week were part of that work, and the building’s owner had permission for the project, Oswald said.

Quad-City Times Robert Robinson, who lives on the second floor, said he went out and returned after the building’s alarm went off.

“When we started to go back the lights went out,” he told the newspaper. “Suddenly everyone started running out saying that the building had collapsed. I’m glad we got down.

Robinson and his girlfriend managed to get the elevator down in time, he said.

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

Tadd Machovec, a Davenport contractor, told the newspaper he was putting up a support beam inside the building when it collapsed.

Some residents of the area said that there was a problem in the building. “There have been many complaints from residents regarding the necessary repairs,” municipal officials said on Sunday.

“The tenants told us the building was going to collapse,” said Jennifer Smith, co-owner of Fourth Street Nutrition, which moved into the building this winter.

“It sounds bad, but we’ve been calling the city and filing complaints since December. Our bathroom collapsed in December,” he said.

Smith said the water damage was obvious from the time they moved into their place. His co-owner, Deonte Mack, said fire crews remained in the building as of Thursday investigating.

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The Quad-City Times reports that the building is owned by Andrew Wold. Wold’s work phone number was not immediately available Sunday night, and efforts to reach him for comment were unsuccessful.

Nearly 20 permits were filed for building repairs in 2022, mainly for plumbing or electrical problems, the county assessor’s office reported, according to the newspaper.

The building, a mix of residential and commercial space, had 84 units, the mayor said.

In June 2021, 98 people died in a high-rise condominium It crashed near Miami Beach in the middle of the night.

Champlain Towers South had a long history of maintenance problems, and substandard construction techniques were used in the early 1980s. Other possible causes of decline are sea level rise from climate change and damage from salt water intrusion.

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