By Daniel Trotta
(Reuters) – Search and rescue teams working throughout the night rescued an eighth victim from an apartment building that collapsed in Davenport, Iowa, officials said on Monday.
The city’s mayor and fire chief told reporters they believe the incident will end without any fatalities.
A center section of the six-story building with 84 apartments and business collapsed for unknown reasons on Sunday afternoon, prompting an immediate rescue effort that pulled seven people from multiple floors of the building, some by firetruck ladder.
Another dozen people walked out on their own, officials said.
With the help of six rescue dogs, first responders pulled an eighth person from the building overnight who was being treated at the hospital, Mayor Mike Matson said at a Monday morning briefing.
The four corners of the building remained standing, but a section of the building a couple of apartments wide collapsed on one side, leaving support beams dangling from upper floors and a pile of rubble below.
Matson credited first responders from several city, county and state agencies that immediately entered the building “irrespective of their personal safety” to help victims.
“Because of that, they saved lives. … They’re the heroes of the day,” Matson said.
Davenport Fire Chief Michael Carlsten said he expected to call an end to the search effort later on Monday once officials have confirmed their initial information that nobody remained unaccounted for inside the building.
City officials said the building had been inspected several times in recent years, both for complaints and routine inspections, but declined to speculate on a cause.
Davenport is a city of about 100,000 people on the Mississippi River on Iowa’s eastern border with Illinois.
(Reporting by Daniel Trotta in Carlsbad, California; Editing by Alistair Bell)
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