• Sat. Sep 23rd, 2023


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All 3 Missing in Iowa Building Collapse Found Dead, Officials Say

Moves to swiftly demolish the stricken building last week were halted by protests because three occupants were unaccounted for. Their bodies were uncovered in the rubble.

The police in Davenport, Iowa, said on Monday that they had found the bodies of all three men who had been missing since a section of a downtown apartment building collapsed last week.

City officials said on Sunday that one of the men, Branden Colvin Sr., a resident who had returned home shortly before the building fell on May 28, had been found dead. On Monday, they said the bodies of the remaining two — Ryan Hitchcock and Daniel Prien — had also been found in the rubble.

No one else is known to have died in the incident, and the authorities said on Monday that they were not aware of any other people who were still unaccounted for.

The Davenport police chief, Jeffery Bladel, said that city and state agencies were investigating the collapse.

A section of the century-old six-story building near the Mississippi River fell on May 28, setting off a frantic rescue effort. Hours later, after pulling several residents to safety, officials said they had no evidence at that time that anyone else was left in the rubble.

The city initially moved rapidly toward demolishing the stricken building, where a large section of the exterior wall had fallen, leaving cleaved-off brick and the interiors of apartments exposed. The day after the collapse, the city announced that its Fire Department had turned over control of the site, and that demolition was “expected to commence” soon.

But protesters gathered at the site calling for a delay, and raising concern that some people might remain trapped. One woman was found and pulled out of the building alive, and officials announced that others were still missing.

Workers continued to search the wreckage on Sunday, a week after part of a Davenport apartment building fell down.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

The building, at 324 Main Street, was the subject of several complaints over the years, city records showed. Concerns about the safety of the structure had been raised earlier this year, and repair work was underway at the time of the collapse.

In the aftermath of the collapse, residents have questioned why the building owner did not act more urgently to repair the building, and whether city officials should have inspected it more aggressively.

Search crews are continuing to go through the rubble, and investigators are examining the property. At some point, an organized effort to take down the rest of the building is expected to begin.

City officials have said since the hours after the collapse that the structure was unstable and dangerous, and that it would require professional demolition.