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8 people were rescued after the partial collapse of an apartment building in Iowa

A view of a collapsed apartment building in Davenport, Iowa, May 28, 2023 in this picture obtained from social media.
Twitter @JohnBlunk via REUTERS
A view of a collapsed apartment building in Davenport, Iowa, May 28, 2023 in this picture obtained from social media.

Eight people have been rescued after the partial collapse of a six-story apartment building in Davenport, Iowa on Sunday.

No one was killed by the collapse, rescue officials confirmed on Monday. The Fire Chief for Davenport, Michael Carsten, told journalists at a press conference that his teams were unaware of any missing people that remained in the wreckage, but Davenport public services have not provided a final tally of those injured, nor provided much detail about their injuries.

Throughout the night, search and rescue teams worked with specialized dog units to locate survivors, after fire crews helped escort around a dozen people from the building on Sunday afternoon after first arriving on the scene.

Seven people were rescued on Sunday, with an eight person who had been pinned down by wreckage evacuated overnight from inside the devastating collapse, which involved the back face of the tower block shearing off from the rest of the complex.

Photos from the scene showed a gaping hole in the side of the building, and a plastic and metal fence erected around the perimeter as rescue efforts continued.

Davenport Fire Chief Carlsten and Mayor Mike Matson provide an updated on the building collapse during a news conference in Davenport, Iowa. Carlsten said that it was unclear how many people, if any, were still missing after an apartment building in the eastern Iowa city collapsed.
/ City of Davenport via AP
/
City of Davenport via AP
Davenport Fire Chief Carlsten and Mayor Mike Matson provide an updated on the building collapse during a news conference in Davenport, Iowa. Carlsten said that it was unclear how many people, if any, were still missing after an apartment building in the eastern Iowa city collapsed.

Mike Matson, the Mayor of Davenport, thanked emergency response workers for their efforts after this "tragedy" had struck the mixed use building, which has retailers and other businesses at street level and apartment homes on higher floors.

There were 84 separate units - the majority of them residential - according to Matson.

Gas had leaked from pipes inside the damaged structure, according to authorities, with the stability of the sections that remained standing still in question.

Water had dripped through several levels, Fire Chief Carsten said during the news conference, but the immediate cause of the building's partial collapse was not yet understood.

Rich Oswald, the city's director of development and neighborhood services, said that there had been repair efforts underway on the outside of the apartment complex when it collapsed, after several bricks were reported to have fallen several days earlier.

City authorities acknowledged that several apartment residents had complained for months about an urgent requirement for repairs.

The Quad-City Times reported that local records showed that last year almost two dozen repair permits had been sought for the building, including for electrical and plumbing problems.

The building's collapse comes less than two years since the deadly collapse of the Champlain Towers South complex outside of Miami, Florida, where nearly 100 residents died in a beach-side building that had a lengthy history of construction and repairs.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Willem Marx
[Copyright 2024 NPR]

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