Two-months since deadly collapse of ‘The Davenport’

Published: Aug. 2, 2023 at 11:44 PM CDT
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - It was business as usual at Wednesday night’s Davenport City Council Committee of the Whole meeting. Outside of public comment, there was virtually no mention of “The Davenport.”

Only one item related to the building collapse was on the agenda. It’s a bill of $10,261.27 for a supply shore to emergency vehicles at the site from Davenport Electric Contract Company.

That is slated to be approved at next week’s full city council meeting.

Friday marked two months since the collapse of the apartment building took the lives of three people.

Jessica Nolls and a handful of other people stand on the corner of Fourth and Harrison Streets across from city hall, every week, looking for accountability,

“This is not being swept under the rug,” Knolls said. “We’re not going anywhere.”

She doesn’t want the city council to forget the names of those who lost their lives in the May 28 tragedy.

This week they wore purple in the city council chambers to commemorate the victims.

“Someone’s got to be here to demand the change that’s required,” Nolls said. “We need stricter laws as far as inspections. We need better housing for our poor and low-income.”

Down the street, crews have filled in where the apartments stood with dirt, resembling any other construction site. Almost no signs of the former apartment building remain.

Davenport Resident Malik Salsberry shared an emotional statement at the meeting. He spoke out against city leaders’ original decision to start demolition imminently

“It is really a shame that we lost three lives of our community members,” Salsbery said. “This just condemns the city council even more.”

On Monday the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services determined the victims died from blunt force injuries and asphyxiation.

Other residents said the site serves as a reminder that there are still many unanswered questions.

”Who had ever thought of a citizen in Davenport suffocating like this?” one resident asked during public comment.

Some like David Sidran wondered how much more taxpayers will be on the hook.

“How many more investigations, lawsuits and deaths before this dysfunctional city hall is cleaned up?” Sidran asked.

Last month, the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigations announced it is looking into the building collapse. They have not released updates to their investigation.