Police in Davenport, Iowa say three bodies have been recovered at the site of a partially collapsed apartment building, and no other people are thought to be missing.
The bodies of Branden Colvin Sr., Ryan Hitchcock and Daniel Prien have now been removed from a giant rubble pile.
Attention has turned to the remaining structure, which has been swaying and poses a risk of collapse.
Unresolved questions include why neither the owner nor city officials warned residents about potential danger.
Recovery efforts continued Monday at the site of a partially collapsed building in Davenport, Iowa, where one man was found dead and two others remain missing.
City officials had said earlier that Colvin, Hitchcock and Prien had “high probability of being home at the time of the collapse.” Searching for them has proven to be extremely dangerous. The remains of the six-story apartment building were constantly in motion in the first 24 to 36 hours after it collapsed on May 28, putting rescuers at great risk.
“We are doing the best we can to balance the building conditions and the safety of our responders,” Fire Chief Mike Carlsten told reporters. He said conditions have forced a response that may take “days and weeks” instead of what ideally would have been minutes or hours.
Mayor Mike Matson has said the debris pile “could be a place of rest for some of the unaccounted.”
Unresolved questions include why neither the owner nor city officials warned residents about potential danger. A structural engineer’s report issued days before the collapse indicated a wall of the century-old building was at imminent risk of crumbling.
Documents released by the city show that city officials and the building’s owner had been warned for months that parts of the building were unstable.
Tenants also complained to the city in recent years about a host of problems they say were ignored by property managers, including no heat or hot water for weeks or even months at a time, as well as mold and water leakage from ceilings and toilets. While city officials tried to address some complaints and gave vacate orders to individual apartments, a broader evacuation was never ordered, records show.
Current and former residents told The Associated Press about interior cracks on the wall that ultimately collapsed that were reported to building management. One woman whose apartment ended up in a huge pile of rubble had to have her leg amputated in order to be rescued.
Andrew Wold, the building’s owner, released a statement dated May 30 saying “our thoughts and prayers are with our tenants.” He has made no statement since then, and efforts to reach him, his company and a man believed to be his attorney have been unsuccessful.
County records show Davenport Hotel L.L.C. acquired the building in a 2021 deal worth $4.2 million.