3 men remain missing after Iowa building collapse

DAVENPORT, Iowa — Officials said three men who had apartments in the part of a building that collapsed Sunday in Davenport remained missing Thursday as search efforts continue.

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Officials identified the men as Ryan Hitchcock, Brenden Colvin and Daniel Prien. Hitchcock and Colvin’s family members have been contacted by police, but Chief Jeff Bladel said authorities were still working to reach Prien’s family and confirm that he was in the building during the collapse.

On Tuesday, authorities said five men were missing after the six-story apartment building in downtown Davenport partially collapsed on Sunday afternoon. Two have since been found, one locally and the other in Texas, Bladel said.

“At this point, we are not getting any further information that other people are in this building and missing,” the chief said Thursday. “We are concentrating on those three.”

Authorities have approached search efforts with caution. Bricks continue to fall from the building, which was built in the early 1900s. Mayor Mike Matson emphasized Thursday that the building is “dangerous and it’s shifting.”

A member of Hitchcock’s family, Amy Anderson, said Tuesday that he “loved Jesus, and we know he’s with the lord.”

“I don’t discount that he could be trapped down there miraculously, we’ve seen some miraculous things, and our God is good but — you know, we don’t want to see any more families lose their lives or anybody else be injured in trying to remove that rubble,” she said.

Officials acknowledged Thursday that search efforts have shifted from the rescue to the recovery phase.

“There’s a high probability that (the three people still missing) are within that collapsed space, and all the information provided to us is that that space is not sustainable for life,” Bladel said.

Protests sparked after city officials earlier this week said they would begin demolition efforts beginning Tuesday, though authorities later clarified that they planned only to stage necessary resources and that they did not expect to begin work yet. Matson said efforts were being coordinated with experts who can help to take the building down in “a very dignified and respectful way.”

“This needs to be done in a way that it respects that this is a resting place,” he said.

Authorities pulled seven people out of the building shortly after it collapsed. An eighth person was rescued Monday following a secondary search of the building.

The partial collapse happened as repair work was being done after bricks began to fall from the structure last month, officials said. Repair work was also carried out in January.

Authorities said that engineers determined it was safe for residents to continue living in the building as the repair work commenced. The 80-unit building had more than 50 tenants. It was called The Davenport, according to KWQC.

It remained unclear Thursday what caused the building to collapse. Officials continue to investigate.