A six-story apartment complex partially collapsed Sunday evening in Davenport, Iowa, officials said. It was not immediately clear whether there were any deaths or how many people were missing or possibly trapped inside the building.
Davenport Mayor Mike Matsen said there were “several missing people” but did not specify the exact number or extent.
Davenport Fire Chief Mike Carlsten said the collapse occurred just before 5 p.m. local time. The cause of the collapse was not immediately clear.
Carsten said seven people were rescued by firefighters and more than a dozen people were escorted out of the building as “voluntary evacuation”.
A professional rescue team was dispatched to help search for the debris. The crew will continue the search overnight, Carsten said.
Firefighters who arrived at the scene also found a “massive natural gas leak,” Carsten said. It is not clear if the leak occurred as a result of the collapse or if gas was leaking before the accident.
The fire department was also concerned about the structural stability of the rest of the building.
“Even while we were on site, there were still multiple secondary falls of debris from the structure,” Carsten said. “We want to make sure all responders can handle it in a safe manner, but we still want to get through the scene as quickly as possible.”
Officials said the building’s owner had obtained a permit to restore the exterior walls of the building. Officials said the owners had issued two other permits for exterior brickwork last year. The falling bricks reported last week were part of that restoration effort.
Various tenants in the building had previously called the city to complain about various aspects of the building. A person familiar with the matter said, “The owner of the building has been issued a notice and an order for repairs.”
Davenport is located about 110 miles from Cedar Rapids along the eastern Illinois border.
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https://www.cbsnews.com/news/davenport-iowa-building-collapse/ Apartment building partially collapsed in Davenport, Iowa