We are now getting a closer look at the effort to find the three men who died in the Davenport apartment building collapse.
Iowa Task Force 1 released photos and video from the scene as they responded with deliberate, careful work.
“To take it from where we started to completion, we’re very happy to bring some sort of closure to the families,” Iowa Task Force 1 Chief Rick Halleran said.
The task force had the job of bringing the remains of Branden Colvin Sr., Ryan Hitchcock and Daniel Prien out of the rubble at 324 Main Street.
“Once we had a very specific task of locating and removal, they were diligent. They had a lot of fortitude and grit,” Halleran said, noting his team faced a changing and dangerous building. “You know, in the early phases when we first got in there, the basement was full of water. Basements are 10- or 12-foot high — full of water — so you can’t do much down there. The building is moaning and creaking and groaning, there’s constantly rocks and debris falling down and making noises and sounds. The floors are uneven — you’d be walking down the hallway and level would just pitch or turn or drop, so we’re like, ‘OK, now we’re getting close the area of collapse.’ How do you address that? Do you just know that it’s there and you walk very cautiously through the building? We don’t jump around in the building, but every step you take imposes new loads onto a building that is somewhat unknown as to whether its going to be able to hold you up or not.”
It took nearly a week to recover the first body, then the others were recovered over the next two days.
“A horrible, horrible event that tragically struck a lot of people and changed lives forever,” Halleran said. “Our roles were pretty specific and we were happy to do whatever we could to close that next chapter for everyone involved.”