A disaster struck the city of Davenport on Sunday when a six-story apartment building partially collapsed, leaving five people unaccounted for. Officials revealed on Tuesday that two of the missing individuals are believed to still be trapped within the collapsed apartment building.
Davenport Collapsed Apartment Building Incident
During a press conference, Mayor Mike Matson confirmed the number of missing persons and expressed condolences for the possibility that the collapsed apartment building site may become their final resting place.
The collapse, which occurred on Sunday, has already seen nine people rescued, but the unstable condition of the building has made further search and rescue efforts challenging, CBS News reported.
Assistant Chief Fire Marshal Jim Morris, fighting back tears, expressed sympathy for the two individuals who are likely still inside the collapsed apartment building.
He mentioned that discussions had taken place with technical rescue teams about the feasibility of conducting another search to locate any other potential survivors or pets. However, the ongoing deterioration of the structure has made the situation increasingly hazardous.
Structural engineer Larry Sandhaas, commissioned by the city to assess the collapsed apartment building site, emphasized the dangerous nature of the building.
The century-old structure, built with brick and steel, relied on the interaction between the two materials for stability. The loss of the brick exterior compromised the building’s overall structural integrity. Sandhaas warned that any future search and recovery missions must be approached with extreme caution due to the risk of further collapse.
Search and Rescue Operation Continues for the Collapsed Apartment Building
Despite the risks involved, emergency responders and medical professionals displayed remarkable dedication.
Mayor Matson revealed that surgeons had performed trauma surgery within the collapsed apartment building during the rescue effort, highlighting the exceptional bravery and commitment of the first responders.
Although the risks of re-entering the collapsed apartment building are high, the emergency responders are determined to continue their efforts.
Fire officials successfully rescued seven individuals and assisted many others in evacuating the collapsed apartment building. Throughout the following 12 hours, over 150 professionals joined the rescue operation. During a subsequent search, an eighth person was found and rescued.
On Monday, another woman, Lisa Brooks, was saved after she alerted rescuers by poking her head out of a fourth-floor window. It was discovered that she had hidden beneath a couch, potentially rendered unconscious by a suspected natural gas leak. The search teams had initially missed her during their surveys of the collapsed structure.
Despite the efforts made by the search and rescue teams, no signs of life were detected in the collapsed apartment building based on the multiple searches conducted. However, some members of the community are raising concerns that others may still be alive and trapped inside.
The city faces the difficult task of balancing the demolition order issued to protect the surrounding area with the hopes of finding survivors.
Davenport’s Chief Strategy Officer for Administration, Sarah Ott, released a statement on Tuesday morning regarding the demolition process. Ott explained that it involves several phases, including permitting and equipment staging, which will commence soon. However, the specific timing for the physical demolition is still under evaluation.
The focus remains on ensuring the safety of the rescue workers while attempting to bring closure to this tragic event.