Screenshot of CNN´s news clip from the Iowa building collapse on May 28, 2023
29 May 2023

Flooding may have caused structural instability - 8 people rescued from Iowa mid rise collapse


8 people have been rescued from a partially collapsed building in Davenport, Iowa. Rescue crews were called out last Sunday  afternoon and this Monday morning, USAR teams were still searching the building for survivors.

The collapse occurred in the downtown area of Davenport, Iowa in the United States. 

While “no known individuals are trapped in that facility,” rescue teams with search dogs are still scouring the wreckage Monday morning, fire chief Mike Carlsten said to reporters.


Apartments split in half 

Part of the building’s back section collapsed and detached from the rest of the structure just before 5 pm Sunday afternoon, local time.

Initially there was not known how many people were unaccounted for when the rescue mission started, according to CNN. Photos from the incident (follow the link to CNN)  show apartments literally split in half - one photo shows a resident´s clothes still hanging untouched from coat hangers in a ripped open closet. 

Still, “the building is structurally unsound, is posing a risk to responders,” Carlsten said.

The collapse led to a large gas leak and also a substantial water leak occurred  in the building, the fire chief said. Rescue crews succeeded in stopping the leaks and resumed their search for survivors.

The area surrounding the apartment building collapse will remain closed during the rescue efforts, given the instability of the building, officials said.


May have been caused by recent flooding

The cause of the Iowa collapse has not been determined, officials said. Theories are circulating that structural damage may have occurred in the building when the Mississippi River overflowed earlier in May, and flooded the streets. A similar event flooded the streets in the spring of 2019 as well. 

The building collapse brought  memories back from the 2021 condo building collapse in Surfside, Florida, that killed 98 people.

Also, just last month, a New York City parking garage with multiple property violations collapsed, killing one person and injuring at least five others.

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