Update: Search for bodies continues at apartment building

Equipment digs through the debris on Friday, June 2, at the partially collapsed apartment building at 324 Main St., Davenport. CREDIT DAVE THOMPSON

The search for three missing men continued today, June 2, at a downtown Davenport apartment building that partially collapsed on Sunday.

Davenport city officials gave a brief Friday morning update on those efforts surrounding the downtown apartment building — at 324 Main St. — that partially collapsed at about 5 p.m., Sunday, May 28.

Three residents of The Davenport are still missing and presumed dead in the ruins of the structure. Those men are Daniel Prien, Brandon Colvin and Ryan Hitchcock, according to city officials.

During Friday’s update, Davenport Mayor Mike Matson said he could not comment on whether human remains have been found at the building site.

Davenport Fire Department Chief Mike Carlsten gives an update on work being done at the building site. CREDIT DAVE THOMPSON

Officials did state that almost 50 members of a specialized team from Iowa Task Force One are at the site. Team members are doing a reconnaissance of the building to search for survivors and those presumed to have perished in Sunday’s building collapse.

Rick Halleran, chief of the Cedar Rapids Division of Task Force One, said that that search phase was completed before sundown Thursday night. Now the team members are moving to the next phase of the mission: shoring and securing the building for controlled recovery. Iowa Task Force One has installed shoring on the exterior walls and is continuing to work with on-site commanders to provide search and recovery capabilities.

“We do what the building tells us what to do. … This is a dynamic situation, very fluid,” said Mr. Halleran, commenting on the pace of the work being dictated by the changing condition of the building.

Iowa’s two divisions of Iowa Task Force One – based in Cedar Rapids and Sioux City – both mobilized and are on the scene at the apartment building. “Iowa Task Force One will remain on-site and engaged with this process until further notice,” according to a statement from the city.

Equipment is set up near the apartment building in downtown Davenport. CREDIT DAVE THOMPSON

“A lot of action has been going on. A lot of work has been going on,” Mr. Matson said Friday morning.

In addition to the work of specialists at the building site, city officials said they are getting advice from around the nation. Some of that advice is coming from first responders and experts who dealt with the 2021 collapse of a beachfront condo in a Miami, Florida, suburb.

“We have had phone calls with Miami Dade, their fire department and some of their city staff just so that we can try to learn from lessons and other communities, and make sure that we are doing things according to the protocols that are established in best practices for this type of event,” said Davenport Fire Department Chief Mike Carlsten.

City officials also recently announced that they have enlisted D.W. Zinser Commercial Demolition company to assist with recovery and demolition work. Zinser is assisting Task Force One with recovery efforts.

In addition to recovery efforts at the building site, city and community officials have announced efforts to help the former tenants of the apartment building.

The American Red Cross, along with community and government partners, are hosting a Multi-Agency Resource Center for residents impacted by the partial building collapse. The center will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 3, at the Davenport Bitner YMCA, 630 E. Fourth St.

The Red Cross and partners will be providing resources and assistance to those affected as they plan next steps in their recovery. Those seeking assistance are asked to bring proof of address and photo I.D. if available. For questions, call (571) 562-1254.

Also, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a disaster proclamation for Scott County in response to the partial building collapse. That proclamation activates grant assistance and case management services to be made available. Details can be found here.

Community members wishing to make donations or volunteer for those in need can do so through the Quad Cities Community Foundation or through the Salvation Army.

The Quad Cities Community Foundation has opened the Quad Cities Disaster Recovery fund to assist residents who have been displaced. Those wishing to donate to the fund can do so at www.qccommunityfoundation.org/qcdisasterrecovery.

For more information about other resources, visit here.

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