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Iowa Apartment Collapse Survivor Had Leg Amputated To Free Her From Rubble; Two People Likely Still In Building

  A woman trapped under rubble from the partial   collapse   of a six-story apartment building in Iowa was freed after first responders ampu...

 A woman trapped under rubble from the partial collapse of a six-story apartment building in Iowa was freed after first responders amputated her leg Monday. 

Quanishia White-Berry is recovering in a hospital after being pinned underneath debris from the apartment building that suddenly collapsed Sunday evening in the eastern Iowa city of Davenport. First responders amputated White-Berry’s left leg above her knee, giving her pain-numbing medication before operating on her at the site of the disaster, The Quad City Times reported

“There was a lot of debris and things surrounding her and her legs were pinned down,” White-Berry’s wife Lexus said. “They were able to get one leg out, but the other leg in order to get her out, they had to amputate it.”

Lexus made it out of the building, but Quanishia was trapped. Lexus stayed near the partially destroyed apartment building for the rest of the evening hoping to hear good news about Quanishia before authorities informed her that she was alive. 

“It was a sense of relief because I had been in the dark for so long, but I said: ‘I don’t feel like she’s gone. I feel like she’s just trapped somewhere. I know she’s just trapped. She’s going to hang on,’“ Lexus said.

Quanishia was alive, but her left leg was pinned underneath pieces of the building that came crashing down. First responders chose to amputate the leg to free her from the building. First responders allowed Lexus to see her wife, but then made her wait outside as they performed the amputation. 

“Every time they got any type of new activity, they’d come to tell me that: ‘OK, we’re getting closer and closer. We’re moving stuff,’” Lexus said. “ ‘OK can’t get her now; OK we’re almost there.’”

“It was a scene that I’ll never forget,” Lexus added. “I’ll never forget that image of the way she was trapped.

Quanishia was heavily sedated and on a ventilator Tuesday, according to Lexus. Doctors are still assessing whether the woman will need additional surgeries and treatments. 

Two men are believed to still be trapped under the rubble, The Quad City Times reported. The city faces a dilemma — to demolish the building or continue with search operations as the partially destroyed building poses a risk to the surrounding area — according to engineers who inspected the building. The debris pile at the bottom of the building is stabilizing the rest of the structure, and removing it “could jeopardize or accelerate the inevitable collapse,” the engineers said, according to CBS News.

Authorities have not yet reported any fatalities, and the cause of the collapse remains under investigation. 

Davenport Fire Chief Carlsten said Monday morning that the rescue operation would soon “become a recovery operation” as there was no “credible information” of missing people still in the building, but a ninth person was saved from the wreckage Monday night — more than 24 hours after the collapse.

After the ninth person was rescued on Monday night, city officials appeared to revise their plan to demolish the building that was set to begin Tuesday morning. In a news release on Monday, officials had said the entire building was “in imminent danger of collapse” and “demolition is expected to commence in the morning [Tuesday].” But on Tuesday, Davenport Chief Strategy Officer for Administration Sarah Ott issued a statement that said the demolition “is a multi-phase process that includes permitting and staging of equipment that will begin today. The timing of the physical demolition of the property is still [being] evaluated.”

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