A rescue operation was still underway Monday after part of an apartment building collapsed yesterday in the eastern Iowa city of Davenport. Authorities reported injuries but did not say how many. Nor have they specified whether there were fatalities.
Davenport Fire Chief Michael Carlsten said at a news conference Monday that it was unclear how many, if any, people were still missing after the collapse Sunday afternoon. Eight people have been rescued so far.
Rescue teams rushed to the scene shortly before 5:00 p.m. Sunday. Firefighters rescued seven people and escorted more than a dozen out of the building in their initial response, Carlsten said at a news conference Sunday.
Carlsten said the rear of the six-story apartment complex had collapsed and had separated from the building, which houses apartments on the upper floors and businesses on the ground floor.
Authorities found a gas leak after the collapse, Carlsten said, while water had also seeped through levels of the structure.
Rescuers were still searching Monday for people reported missing. The building’s stability was a concern after secondary collapses that occurred while rescue teams were on the scene, Carlsten said.
“Our goal is bailout right now,” Davenport Mayor Mike Matson said at a news conference yesterday.
“This is an active scene. We will continue to work and we will continue to assess for the whole purpose of trying to find the people and trying to get them out,” Matson said, adding that he spoke with Gov. Kim Reynolds and offered help.
The Davenport Police Department asked the population to avoid going to the center of the city. The department said on its Facebook page that a nearby church was being used as a meeting point.
The Red Cross was helping the displaced find shelter, authorities said.
The cause of the collapse has not been disclosed at this time.