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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Liam Buckler

Desperate search for residents as six-storey apartment collapses amid 'unsafe' complaints

A desperate search is underway for unaccounted residents after a huge six-storey apartment building collapsed - just months after locals claimed it was unsafe.

Fire crews rushed to the apartment in Davenport, Iowa, on Sunday evening in an attempt to dig through the rubble and find survivors after the back of the six-story apartment complex collapsed and had separated from the building, which houses apartments on the upper floors and businesses on the ground level.

Seven people were rescued from the building and twelve were taken from the collapse of the apartment - with an air ambulance transferring the affected residents to a local hospital.

An eighth person has since been rescued overnight while there are said to be "no known individuals trapped in that facility", according to police chiefs.

Authorities said people were treated for injuries at the scene but did not detail how many.

The apartment building collapsed on Sunday evening (@rawsalerts /Twitter)

Emergency services were continuing their search on Monday morning to try and determine if there was anyone else in the building.

“Our focus is rescue right now,” Davenport Mayor Mike Matson said at a news conference.

Part of the building came crashing down (AP)
The building collapse led to a school bus being smashed (AP)

“This is an active scene. We will continue to work, continue to evaluate, with the whole purpose of trying to find people and trying to get them out,” Mr Matson said, adding that he spoke with Gov. Kim Reynolds, who offered assistance.

The Davenport Police Department asked people to avoid downtown after the collapse.

A reunification area established at St. Anthony’s Church on Main Street was being serviced by Red Cross personnel, Mr Carlsten said.

Fire crews are searching for residents (AP)
Part of the building came crashing down (AP)

The cause of the collapse was not immediately known.

However, according to local residents, there had been concerns with the building for several years.

City leaders revealed the apartment had permits to fix the building before it collapsed on Sunday evening.

Rich Oswald, City of Davenport director of development and neighborhood services, said at a news conference that work was being done on the building’s exterior at the time of the collapse.

Fire crews are searching for residents (AP)

Reports of bricks falling from the building earlier this week were part of that work and the building’s owner had a permit for the project, Mr Oswald said.

City officials said Sunday that they had several complaints from residents about needed repairs.

Jennifer Smith, co-owner of Fourth Street Nutrition, said she learned of the explosion from her husband, who works for Mid-American Energy.

“He was on call and got called in for a building explosion downtown. We had no idea it was our building,” she said.

“It sounds bad, but we have been calling the city and giving complaints since December. Our bathroom caved in December.”

Mrs Smith said water damage has been apparent since they moved into their space in the winter.

The company’s co-owner, Deonte Mack, said fire crews were in the building as recently as Thursday for an inspection.

“The tenants told us the building was going to collapse,” Ms Smith said.

Resident Lexus Berry and his wife Quanisha managed to escape the building after taking both of their cats and headed towards the exit.

Locals inspect the partially collapsed block of flats (AP)

He said: "We both grab our cats, she grabbed one, I grabbed one, got to the door.

"'I watched her, and everything just fell down and everything fell on top of me, and I barely made it out the door.'

"I got out, but there was nothing left but where I was standing at. Everything else was gone."

The Quad-City Times reported Robert Robinson, a second-floor resident, had gone outside and returned as alarms went off in the building.

Officials are working to find anymore survivors (AP)

“When we started to go back in the lights went out,” he told the newspaper. “All of a sudden everybody started running out saying the building collapsed. I’m glad we came down when we did.”

Robinson and his girlfriend were able to take the elevator down just in time, he said.

“This is horrible,” he said. “We don’t have anywhere to go. Nothing to eat.”

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