Thursday, 18 December 2014

Dozens of people missing feared trapped or dead after five-storey residential building collapses in Nairobi

One person is dead and dozens more are trapped after a five-storey residential building collapsed in downtown Nairobi. Rescue services have been working frantically to save those trapped inside the building, which collapsed just after 2am on Wednesday morning.

As many as 30 families lived in the building, local media report, and many would have been asleep as the walls came crashing down around them.

Nairobi deputy police chief Moses Ombati said the victim died on his way to hospital after being rescued from the debris.

The Kenyan Red Cross tweeted that seven people have so far been pulled out alive from the rubble of the building.

Jonathan Mueke, the deputy governor of Nairobi County, said authorities are focusing on the search and rescue operation and will later investigate why the building collapsed.

Rescuers started pulling survivors out of the rubble before earth movers were brought in to remove the heavy slabs.

A sixth floor was being added to the building, Hesketh Isigi said, adding that his brother had complained about a huge crack on the wall of the ground floor.

Mr Isigi's brother, Lawicky Mukagat, 26, was trapped inside the rubble, he said.

Mr Mukagat called him around 3am and told him the house had collapsed and he needed help. Mr Isigi said he rushed to the site.

'The last time I spoke to him he only asked for water and the phone charge went off. I fear for the worst,' Mr Mukagat said.

Because of high demand for housing in Nairobi, some property developers often bypass building regulations to cut costs and maximize profits, especially when the building is in a low-market area. Architectural Society of Kenya had previously estimated that 50 per cent of structures in Nairobi are not up to code.

Thursday 18 December 2014


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