Officials: 1 person ‘extracted’ from downtown Davenport building following collapse

Published: May. 28, 2023 at 5:35 PM CDT|Updated: May. 29, 2023 at 7:40 AM CDT
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - One person was “extracted” from an apartment building that partially collapsed Sunday in downtown Davenport, officials have confirmed.

That person has been taken to a hospital, Fire Chief Mike Carlsten said during a media briefing Monday morning.

The condition of the person was not known, he added.

At this time, no deaths have been reported, Carlsten said.

K9 units have been working throughout the night and are still on the scene at this time, he said.

“Multiple structural engineers have been on-site throughout the night to provide technical guidance for our rescue effort,” Carlsten said. “We are currently finishing the rescue phase of our operation and soon it will become a recovery operation.

“If anyone’s concerned about a possible missing loved one or unknown person, please contact 911 with this information.”

Carlsten said the building at this time is structurally unsound and is posing a risk to responders.

“We are actively working for the best course of action for the building, and we continue to ask the public to avoid th area,” he said

During a briefing Sunday night, Carlsten said that crews were dispatched at 4:55 p.m. to a six-story apartment complex at 324 Main St. The building is known as “The Davenport.”

A portion of the rear part of the building had collapsed and separated from the rest of the building, he said.

Crews also found a large natural gas leak and water leaking from all floors of the structure.

Carlsten said were able to rescue seven people during the initial response and escorted more than a dozen people as they were self-evacuating from the building.

Crews put up fencing Sunday night following a partial building collapse in downtown Davenport.
Crews put up fencing Sunday night following a partial building collapse in downtown Davenport.(KWQC)

Medic also responded and established a patient care area on the scene. Carlsten said with the assistance of the Rock Island Arsenal Fire and the Rock Island Fire Department “we were able to take care of any injuries that we were able to come across at that point.

A reunification area was established at St. Anthony’s Church, 417 N. Main St. Red Cross and Medic also are there, he added.

MidAmerican and Iowa American Water worked to secure the utilities, and MABAS 43 technical rescue team also is assisting.

“This is a very specialized rescue, a very time-consuming operation, and we need to have some more expertise and more manpower to help us with that,” Carlsten said.

Numerous people watched as crews worked Sunday.

”I live in the building just next to it and we heard just like a large crash and then shortly after we went outside and saw the whole section of the building gone,” Andrew Sommer, a former tenant of the apartment building, said.

Mayor Mike Matson said Sunday night that he spoke with Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, who offered full assistance.

“We are working with officials in Davenport following a building collapse,” Reynolds said on Twitter. “I spoke w/ Mayor Matsen & assured him that they have the full support of the state!

“DPS & Homeland Security & Emergency Management officials will continue to assist on scene as rescue efforts continue.”

Rich Oswald, director of development and neighborhood services, said the owner of the building had permits to make repairs to the exterior brick prior to the collapse.

He added that reports of bricks falling from the building earlier this week was part of that work.

Officials have not yet said what caused the collapse.

The owner of the building, Andrew Wold, could not be reached for comment Sunday night.

The American Red Cross of Illinois said Sunday night that residents of The Davenport and the Executive Suite and Central Lifts buildings who need a place to stay can come to the Red Cross shelter at Center for Active Seniors, 1035 W. Kimberly Road.

According to the Red Cross, city buses started leaving at 10 p.m. from St. Anthony Church to take impacted residents to the shelter.