Bodies of 3 more victims found in collapsed Iowa apartment building

June 5 (UPI) -- The bodies of three residents who lived in the apartment building that collapsed in Davenport, Iowa, were found over the weekend.

On Tuesday, the city halted plans to demolish the partially collapsed building because at least five residents were missing. By Thursday, two had been accounted for but three still remained missing.


On Saturday, 42-year-old Branden Colvin's body was found in the rubble. The next day, the bodies of 51-year-old Ryan Hitchcock and 60-year-old Daniel Prien were recovered.

Initially officials planned to demolish the building at 324 Main St. swiftly after it partially collapsed on May 28. Rescuers said there were no credible reports of any missing persons at that time. But rescuers would go on to save more than a dozen people, as well as several pets, from the six-story structure.

David Valliere, a structural engineer from Select Structural Engineering in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, investigated the building on Feb. 2. He discovered a "localized area of brick [that] is cracked and crumbling" on the exterior wall on the west side of the building.

A report dated Feb. 8 said of the west wall crumbling "this engineer determined that this is not an imminent threat to the building or its residents, but structural repairs will be necessary."


During a second inspection later that month, the same engineer, said "the mason pointed out that the area immediately to the north of the work area has a large and potentially dangerous void beneath the facade wythe of clay brick."

A wythe is a verticle brick section of a structure.

On May 24, days before the collapse, Valliere wrote in a letter that "these large patches appear ready to fall imminently, which may create a safety hazard to cars or passersby." He noted that the owner had begun the process of removing drywall inside the wall to get a better view of why the brick was crumbling.

The 16,200-square foot, 79-unit mixed-use complex was purchased in June 2021 by Davenport Hotel LLC., owned by Andrew Wold. Wold has been fined $300 and a $95 court fee for failing to maintain a "safe, sanitary, and structurally sound" property, the Des Moines Register reports.

Surveillance video nearby shows support bracers bend as pieces of the westside facade begin to fall off in the minutes before the wall gives out. When the building collapsed, it knocked out power to the camera.


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