Report blames deadly Iowa building collapse on removal of bricks and lack of shoring

Sep 7, 2023, 11:08 AM

A partial building collapse in Iowa that killed three people in May was caused by the removal of brick and inadequate shoring of the 116-year-old structure, according to a report released by officials Thursday.

The history of improper maintenance.

The city hired the engineering companies within days of the May 28 partial collapse of the apartment building in Davenport, which killed three residents and forced crews to amputate the leg of another resident to free her from rubble. The report was dated Aug. 15 and posted on the city’s website Thursday.

A city spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the report.

The report found the root case of the collapse was the removal of brick during repairs in the three days before the collapse, which compromised the six-story building’s west wall. The report said shoring installed on the wall was “grossly inadequate.”

“Had a proper shoring and construction phasing plan been implemented during these repairs, the building would not have partially collapsed on May 28, 2023,” the report said.

Besides inadequate and improperly installed shoring, the report found that engineers and masonry contractors didn’t realize the wall they were repairing was a structural bearing wall.

“As such, they underestimated the significance of the observable signs of distress in the wall, delayed necessary repair work, designed and installed a weaker replacement system, and removed significant portions of the wall without first installing adequate temporary shoring,” the report said.

The report also cited inadequate construction documents that made it difficult for city inspectors to verify work completed, a lack of on-site oversight by a “qualified design professional” and a history of improper and inadequate repairs to the wall that ultimately collapsed.

The building collapse has led to numerous lawsuits filed by residents against the building owner, engineering company, city and others. Building owner Andrew Wold also has filed a lawsuit that blames an engineering company for not warning that the building was structurally unsound.

In the days after the collapse, residents and some relatives of those killed criticized city officials for their oversight of the building and emergency response. City documents showed a history of problems at the building but residents were not warned that the structure was potentially dangerous.

Davenport Mayor Mike Matson has called for an investigation into the collapse but also defended the city’s actions, saying ““I don’t know that anyone can anticipate a building collapsing.”

The remains of the building were demolished in the weeks after the collapse. The downtown site is now bare ground.

United States News

Brattleboro Union High School students register to vote during a voter drive at the school, Feb. 14...

Associated Press

What to know about Super Tuesday and why it matters

It’s almost Super Tuesday when voters in 16 states and one territory will cast their ballots in the 2024 presidential primaries.

3 minutes ago

Associated Press

Air Force employee charged with sharing classified info on Russia’s war with Ukraine on dating site

WASHINGTON (AP) — A civilian U.S. Air Force employee has been charged in federal court in Nebraska with transmitting classified information about Russia’s war with Ukraine on a foreign online dating platform, the Justice Department said Monday. David Franklin Slater, 63, who authorities say retired as an Army lieutenant colonel and was assigned to the […]

50 minutes ago

FILE - Lawyer Kenneth Chesebro is sworn in during a plea deal hearing, Oct. 20, 2023, at the Fulton...

Associated Press

Takeaways from the Wisconsin 2020 fake electors lawsuit settlement

More than 1,400 pages of emails, text messages and other documents released Monday reveal details of a strategy by Republican operatives tied to then-President Donald Trump to overturn Joe Biden’s 2020 victory in Wisconsin. The documents — settling a civil lawsuit filed against two attorneys and 10 Wisconsin Republicans who posed as fake electors — […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

A judge orders prison for a Michigan man who made threats against Jewish people

A 20-year-old Michigan man who admitted using social media to make violent threats against Jewish people was sentenced Monday to a year and a day in prison, far short of what prosecutors had recommended. A sentence exceeding a year makes someone eligible for good conduct credits and a shorter stay in federal custody. Seann Pietila, […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Falls from US-Mexico border wall in San Diego hospitalize 10 in a day

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Eleven people were hurt over the weekend while trying to climb over a wall that separates Mexico and the United States and falling on the San Diego side, the latest such injuries since the wall was heightened to deter illegal crossings. Ten people ranging in age from 18 to mid-40s were […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Venus flytrap poachers face arrest warrants in taking of hundreds of rare plant

BOILING SPRING LAKES, N.C. (AP) — Authorities in North Carolina have obtained arrest warrants for two people in a poaching case involving hundreds of Venus flytraps, which grow naturally in the eastern part of the state. Officers with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission obtained arrest warrants for two people accused of stealing nearly 600 […]

4 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.


Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

Report blames deadly Iowa building collapse on removal of bricks and lack of shoring