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Apartment building partially collapses in Iowa

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Apartment building partially collapses in Iowa

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — Rescue operations were underway Sunday night after part of an apartment building collapsed in the eastern Iowa city of Davenport. Determine if there have been fatalities.

Authorities reported that there were injuries at the scene, but did not say how many.

Rescue teams rushed to the scene shortly before 5:00 p.m. Sunday. Firefighters rescued seven people and escorted more than a dozen out of the building in their initial response, Davenport Fire Chief Michael Carlsten said at a news conference.

Carlsten said the rear of the six-story apartment complex had collapsed and had separated from the building, which houses apartments on the upper floors and businesses on the ground floor.

Authorities found a gas leak after the collapse, Carlsten said, while water had also seeped through levels of the structure.

Rescuers were still searching Sunday for people reported missing. The building’s stability was a concern after secondary collapses that occurred while rescue teams were on the scene, Carlsten said.

“Our goal is rescue right now,” Davenport Mayor Mike Matson said at a news conference.

“This is an active scene. We will continue to work and we will continue to assess for the whole purpose of trying to find the people and trying to get them out,” Matson said, adding that he spoke with Gov. Kim Reynolds who offered help.

The Davenport Police Department asked people to avoid going downtown after the collapse. The Department said on its Facebook page that a nearby church was being used as a meeting point.

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The Red Cross was helping the displaced find shelter, authorities said.

The cause of the collapse has not been disclosed at this time.

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