3 still unaccounted for, 2 found safe, city officials say

Thursday, 10 a.m. news conference
Published: May. 31, 2023 at 9:49 PM CDT
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - Three people are still unaccounted for, two were found safe in Texas and locally, according to City officials in a news conference Thursday.

During a news conference Thursday afternoon at 2 p.m., the red cross talked about assistance for those affected.

Davenport officials held a briefing at 10 a.m. Thursday. This was the third briefing since the collapse on Sunday.

Jeff Bladel, the Chief of Police Jeff Bladel said since the initial information that five people were unaccounted for police have made contact with two, one in Texas and one locally. Their families have also been in contact.

Daniel Prien is still unaccounted for, Bladel said. Brandon Colvin and Ryan Hitchcock are still believed to have potentially been in their apartments in the area of the collapse at the time the building had partially collapsed.

“[Prien’s] apartment was also related to the area where we had the collapse in the building,” Bladel said. “Right now we don’t have any family members, we’re working on points of contact. For our protocol for these individuals. They are entered in our national database as missing persons. But we’ll continue to update you as we get additional information on that again.”

Bladel said officials are not getting any other information that other people are in the building and missing.

“So right now, again, we are concentrating on those three, Brandon Ryan in Daniel and we will be sending out additional information,” Bladel said. “But again, I can’t stress enough. The families need us. The families need all of us to remain a level head and try to figure these things out. And hopefully, rationalize through what they’re grieving and what they’re processing through.”

The City of Davenport issued a municipal infraction on May 30 to the owner of the building that partially collapsed, initiating legal action, according to city officials. This legal action was taken to ensure the owner of the property cannot transfer the property to another owner in an effort to avoid a large lien that is expected.

There is a live blog on KWQC TV6′s website with continuous updates. Click here.

Rick Oswald, City of Davenport Development Services Director, addressed the status of a permit that was issued to 324 Main Street on May 25, 2023.

According to Oswald, a permit was created on May 25 by a staff member in the City of Davenport permitting software system and a check box for passing the permit was inadvertently clicked due to a clerical error. The same day city staff was on site conducting an inspection of the work in progress, not completed at the time.

The staff member in charge of completing the documentation of the on-site inspection left town after the inspection, Oswald said. When they returned to the office May 30 their notes were entered for the onsite inspection from May 25. According to Oswald, the error of the permit being noted as “passed” was changed to “incomplete”, which is what triggered the external facing system to present as “failed”.

Oswald said the staff member has since turned in their resignation letter Wednesday.

The second part of this, according to Oswald, was the permit was noted as “failed” due to an IT glitch that caused the permit to be shown on the public facing system as “failed” when marked incomplete on the internal system. The permit was never failed after inspection, Oswald said, but rather was marked as incomplete and the IT Department is working to correct this issue.

The status of “incomplete” is accurate, Oswald said. The work for this permit was not done before the collapse of the building and no assessment of pass or fail could be attributed to this permit.

“Again the City would like to acknowledge the sensitivity of this issue and ensure our community we are handling this with the upmost attention,” according to a media release from the city.

Wednesday, Davenport officials gave the following update:

On site today at 324 Main Street was Shive Hattery, the engineering firm hired by the City of Davenport.

While on-site, engineers utilized a forensic LIDAR drone to further assess damage to the building and its structural stability. Also on site was the property owner’s insurance firm representatives and structural engineers to complete an independent structural damage assessment.