Authorities suspected that at least two of the five residents of a six-story apartment building that partially collapsed in eastern Iowa might be trapped inside rubble that is too dangerous to look for on Tuesday.
State Representative Monica Kurth stated that it is unlikely that the three further missing persons were inside the structure when it started to collapse on Sunday.
At a press conference, Mayor Mike Matson acknowledged that not everyone was there.
Tuesday morning, a group of demonstrators gathered beside the building and yelled slogans, claiming the city was moving too swiftly to demolish the 116-year-old brick and steel building.
It had previously served as apartments after being built as a hotel, and occupants had been permitted to stay even after it had closed.
The city had planned to start dismantling the flimsy remnants of the tower as early as Tuesday morning after the partial collapse, but they postponed when a lady was discovered Monday night.
Officials now claim that although the property must be hastily prepared for the teardown, immediate demolition was never contemplated.
The woman’s rescue spurred officials to see if they could safely enter and ensure no one else was inside, but they claimed that was very challenging because the structure may collapse at any moment.
For some of the missing, this might serve as a last resting place, Matson suggested. The city attempts to decide how to demolish what is left of the structure while respecting those who may have died.
The building, which is close to other structures and is “unstable and continues to worsen,” will not be attacked with explosives, according to Fire Marshal James Morris. He added that Removing the rubble supporting the rest of the building could lead to additional collapse.
Morris cried and stated, “We’re very sympathetic to the possibility that there are two people” remaining inside.
He stated that the cause of the collapse would be looked into but that it’s not yet apparent whether a criminal probe is necessary.
Fire Chief Michael Carlsten announced on Monday morning that “no known individuals are trapped,” the city released a statement saying the owner had been served with a demolition order on Monday, and the procedure was underway.
The discovery of a second survivor, saved by a ladder truck from a fourth-floor window on Monday evening, forced the city to rethink, officials said Tuesday.
Only after bursting through a window screen and waving to the crowd below was the woman brought to safety.
Morris stated, “We had no indications from any of the responders that we had, any of the canines, or any of the tools at the time” that anyone else was still alive inside the structure.
According to Patricia Brooks, Lisa attempted to escape the building but quickly returned to her bathtub, where she believed she could find the most secure protection.
When her sister was being evaluated at the hospital after being saved from a window on the side of the building, Brooks spoke with her.