Five people were missing after a historic Iowa apartment building partially collapsed, and authorities said Tuesday two of them are believed to be inside the building.

Nine people have been rescued from the catastrophic structural failure of the 116-year-old six-story complex in Davenport around 5 p.m. Sunday.

City officials said at a news conference Tuesday that they plan to search the complex again. That afternoon, a team searched part of the building «that presented an acceptable risk» for entry and rescued animals, but found no people.

«Teams continued to search for human activity and nothing was detected,» the city said in a statement. a Facebook post Tuesday afternoon.

The decision to search was a sea change a day after Davenport officials said they would demolish the structure Tuesday morning after K-9 units found no survivors inside.

Hours after Monday’s announcement, Lisa Brooks, 52, was rescued from her fourth-floor apartment.

Davenport Fire Chief James Morris said the rescue was a «viable indication» that the city needed to look again for more survivors.

Protesters had denounced the demolition plans. Some held signs reading «Davenport Deserves Better» and «Find ‘Em First» as people chanted «Search and Rescue!»

Branden Colvin Jr., 18, whose father Branden Colvin is missing, said Tuesday he is frustrated.

“It’s been a new story every hour,” he said. «…I just want to know where my dad is.»

Davenport Police Chief Jeffery Bladel said Tuesday that five people were missing and that we «strongly believe» that two of them were «potentially still in that building.»

Police continue to secure a six-story apartment building on May 29, 2023 in Davenport, Iowa, after it collapsed the previous day.
Police continue to secure a six-story apartment building Monday in Davenport, Iowa, after it collapsed Sunday.Scott Olson/Getty Images

One of those still believed to be inside is Ryan Hitchcock. Amy Anderson, his cousin, told the news conference that she supported the demolition plans.

«Ryan wouldn’t want anyone else to put their lives at risk,» he said. “I don’t rule out that he may be trapped down there. … We don’t want to see more families lose their lives or anyone else get hurt trying to remove that debris.”

She said she spoke with city officials Monday night and was promised crews would search the rubble for possible remains.

Morris said the city’s goal is to search for additional occupants in the structure, but that the integrity of the building had only worsened since the collapse and that it «changed» when crews were on site.

“We are partnering with other entities, as well as our department, to respectfully remove any potential human remains with dignity,” he said.

The demolition plans are «under evaluation» and essentially on hold. Officials have not shared a timeline for when another search or demolition will take place.

The cause of the collapse remains under investigation. Morris said investigators are consulting with state agencies about who will take the lead in the investigation and whether a criminal offense has occurred has not been determined.

Officials also shed more light Tuesday on the property’s owner, identified as Andrew Wold, and previous work on the site.

Mayor Mike Matson said Wold was at the scene Sunday and has been in contact with the city. Wold has not responded to multiple requests for comment.

Morris said there were teething problems with the building and a structural engineer’s report provided to the city determined it was safe.

The report was completed by Bettendorf-based engineering firm Select Structural Engineering, Rick Oswald, director of Davenport Neighborhood Development and Services, said Tuesday.

He said two engineering reports were filed in six months: at the end of January and last week.

Both reports were in response to brick falling from the 324 Main St. building, and both times the engineering firm informed the city that the building was structurally sound and described the repairs.

Davenport’s government said Tuesday afternoon that «the stability of the building continues to degrade.»

“The recovery of any missing persons remains the City’s priority as operational planning progresses,” it said in a statement.

shaquille brewster and phil helsell contributed.