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Iowa collapse: Expert calls standards a ‘free for all’

  • At least two people are missing after an Iowa apartment building collapse
  • ASCE: Without national infrastructure standards, it’s kind of free for all
  • The building’s owner said his ‘thoughts and prayers’ are with tenants

(NewsNation) — American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) President Maria Lehman says there are a lot of questions that need to be answered about the deadly Iowa apartment building collapse.

At least two people are still missing after the partial collapse of the six-story building on May 28 in Davenport, Iowa. Searching the building was extremely dangerous since it was at risk for further collapse, officials said.

Branden Colvin Sr.’s body was recovered Saturday. Ryan Hitchcock and Daniel Prien are still unaccounted for.

Lehman believes without national infrastructure standards, it’s “kind of a free for all” as far as building structure and maintenance goes.

“If there isn’t a standard (…) it’s kind of a free for all,” Lehman said during a Sunday appearance on “NewsNation Prime.”

Lehman continued: “We don’t have standards across the country, and we’ve been advocating for that for a long time. You get different variances in different areas and so you can’t compare one building to another building in an adjacent community. You have building inspectors that are going off whatever local standards are, so there’s all kinds of variability.”

Days before the collapse, a structural engineer’s report was issued, indicating that a wall of the century-old building was at risk of crumbling. Tenants have also complained about issues they say were ignored by property managers.

On May 30, the building’s owner, Andrew Wold, said: “Our thoughts and prayers are with our tenants.”

According to records, Davenport Hotel L.L.C. acquired the building for $4.2 million in 2021.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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