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Iowa building collapse - latest: Davenport authorities quit rubble search for missing despite family pleas

Cause of the apartment collapse remains undetermined and no deaths have been reported despite three men remaining unaccounted for

Andrea Blanco,Joe Sommerlad,Ariana Baio
Saturday 03 June 2023 15:28 BST
Video shows dramatic aftermath of building collapse in Iowa

Three men are still feared to be trapped under the wreckage of the residential building that collapsed in Davenport, Iowa, earlier this week - despite a search for survivors has been completed.

Ryan Hitchcock, Branden Colvin and Daniel Prien remain unaccounted for five days after a large section of the six-story building collapsed. Relatives of Mr Hitchcock and Mr Colvin believe the men are in the rubble, while police say they have not been in contact with Mr Prien’s family.

Authorities say a task force completed their search for survivors on Thursday 2 June and the city would move to begin taking down the remaining shaky structure.

Questions about the history of the building’s structural integrity have risen.

Ryan Shaffer told The Quad-Cities Times he gave at least three warnings that the structure’s instability could prove deadly. His first warning came in February, when he claims Mr Wold approached him with potential work to shore up the building – but then decided to hire a cheaper firm instead.

Just two days before the collapse, Mr Shaffer said he told construction workers: “Get away, you’re going to die.”


Building collapse survivor had leg amputated

Lexus Berry and her wife Quanishia tried to escape the collapse on Sunday, grabbing their cats and rushing to make it downstairs. But while Lexus was able to make it to safety, Quanishia became trapped in the rubble.

“There was a lot of debris and things surrounding her and her legs were pinned down,” Lexus told The Quad-City Times. “They were able to get one leg out, but the other leg in order to get her out, they had to amputate it.”

“It was a scene that I’ll never forget. I’ll never forget that image of the way she was trapped.”

Andrea Blanco31 May 2023 18:28

Building owner named as defendant in civil enforcement action

The city has been in contact with the building owner Andrew Wold, Mr Morris said on Tuesday.

State agencies are coordinating what agency will take the lead in the investigation but no criminal charges have been filed yet.

Iowa court records reviewed by The Independent on Wednesday show that Mr Wold and Davenport Hotel LLC are listed as defendants in a civil enforcement action brought by the City of Davenport on 30 May.

Mr Wold was given a $300 fine for failing to keep the building “safe, sanitary and structurally sound condition,” WQAD reports.

Andrea Blanco31 May 2023 19:00

Iowa officials finally admit that up to five residents are still missing

Officials in Iowa have finally admitted that up to five residents are still missing following the collapse of a six-story apartment building – after previously claiming there were no credible reports of missing people and making plans to demolish the block while people could still be trapped inside.

Davenport Mayor Mike Matson said at a press conference on Tuesday that five people are still unaccounted for, including two who are believed to still be in the partially collapsed building.

“The Davenport Police Department has been working diligently to account for the [residents] of the building,” he said.

“Five individuals are still unaccounted for, two of those we believe to possibly be still in the building.”

The identities of the missing have not been released but the revelation comes after desperate neighbours, locals and loved ones have been trying to raise the alarm about two men thought to be in the building at the time of the collapse.

Andrea Blanco31 May 2023 19:30

Cats, snakes and lizard rescued from the wreckage overnight

The Humane Society of Scott County announced that several animals were rescued and reunited with their humans.

“We recovered 6 cats, 2 snakes, and 1 lizard, which were all the pets reported on our form that weren’t in one of the apartments where the building collapsed,” the non-profit announced on Tuesday night. “We’ve already reunited 4 cats, the 2 snakes, and the lizard with their owners, and the other two will be reunited shortly!”

Five tenants are still unaccounted for, at least two of them are believed to be trapped in the wreckage.

Andrea Blanco31 May 2023 19:55

Former tenant recounts issues with collapsed building

Aurea Monet lived in a studio in the six-storey apartment building for around seven months, moving out just eight weeks before the block partially collapsed on Sunday.

In a series of TikTok videos, she says that she broke the lease on the rental unit and moved out after noticing huge cracks on both the inside and outside walls of her apartment.

The cracks started to develop after construction work began on the property, she says.

In the video, Ms Monet says “they started construction a while back and during that time I noticed a crack above my outlet”.

She says it was “much smaller at first” but then the crack “progressed over my time being there”.

Andrea Blanco31 May 2023 20:00

Iowa officials face a grueling decision: Putting rescue teams in hazard to look for missing tenants or risking demolition with victims still trapped inside

Experts have said the structure built in the 1900s is extremely unstable. Because of the layout of the building, with the rear brick part holding together much of the steel structure, officials said there were likely no void spaces where trapped victims could have taken shelter.

Authorities said its brittle condition is worsening with time and the possibility of another collapse is now imminent.

“We want to get everyone out, we want to do it right now,” Mr Morris said as he broke down in tears at Tuesday’s press conference. “So understand, it’s not that we don’t want to do this ... it’s that we have to do it in a safe manner.”

Andrea Blanco31 May 2023 20:30

Iowa officials say ‘computer glitch’ changed inspection record for collapsed Davenport building

When permit records for an Iowa building that collapsed this past weekend were mysteriously changed after the tragedy, city officials blamed a “computer glitch”.

Skeptical members of the community aren’t convinced it was a mistake.

The Independent has more:

Officials say ‘computer glitch’ changed inspection record for collapsed Iowa building

The structure was undergoing permitted repairs at the time of the tragedy, officials said

Andrea Blanco31 May 2023 21:24

WATCH: Ninth person rescued from wreckage of Iowa building collapse

Ninth person rescued from wreckage of Iowa building collapse
Andrea Blanco31 May 2023 22:38

Iowa officials laid plans to demolish a collapsed building. Then they admitted people could still be trapped

City officials in Davenport, Iowa, have admitted that five residents of the building that collapsed this weekend are still unaccounted for – a day after announcing plans to proceed with the demolition of the unstable structure.

Read more:

Officials planned to demolish a collapsed Iowa building. Are survivors still trapped?

Search efforts have been called off but at least two residents of the building complex remain unaccounted for, Andrea Blanco reports

Andrea Blanco1 June 2023 00:00

WATCH: Five people still unaccounted for 36 hours after Iowa building collapse

Five people still unaccounted for 36 hours after Iowa building collapse
Andrea Blanco1 June 2023 01:00

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