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Report says 3 died of blunt force injuries, asphyxiation in Iowa building collapse

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Iowa’s health agency says three men killed in a downtown Davenport apartment building collapse more than two months ago died of blunt-force injuries and asphyxiation

Building Collapse Iowa

FILE – An apartment building that partially collapsed two days earlier is seen, Tuesday, May 30, 2023, in Davenport, Iowa. Iowa’s health agency said Monday, July 31, 2023, that three men killed in the collapse more than two months ago died of blunt-force injuries and asphyxiation. (AP Photo/Erin Hooley, File)

The Associated Press

DAVENPORT, Iowa — Three men killed in a downtown Davenport apartment building collapse more than two months ago died of blunt-force injuries and asphyxiation, Iowa’s health agency said.

The finding released Monday by the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services declared the deaths of 42-year-old Branden Colvin Sr., 51-year-old Ryan Hitchcock and 60-year-old Daniel Prien as accidental. All had suffered multiple crush injuries and “mechanical asphyxiation,” a term used to indicate that an object or body position prevented a person from breathing.

The partial collapse of the century-old, six-story brick building near Davenport’s riverside also injured several people and displaced dozens of people. An investigation is being conducted to determine the cause of the deadly collapse.

Questions remain about why residents were allowed to stay in the building, despite many warnings that the building was unstable. Those warnings were issued by structural engineers, masons, city inspectors and tenants over several months, according to city documents.

Several lawsuits have been filed accusing the city and building owner Andrew Wold, among others, of neglecting residents’ safety.

Wold pleaded guilty in June to a civil infraction asserting that he didn’t maintain safe conditions at the building, for which he faced $395 in fines and court fees.

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