Scores feared trapped in Nairobi building collapse

  • 30/04/2016
(Trezzy Blog/Twitter)
(Trezzy Blog/Twitter)

By Tom Odula

Seven people have been killed and at least 121 others injured in a residential building collapse during heavy rains in Nairobi.

The Kenya Red Cross said a search team managed to pull three children and an adult from the remains of the six-storey building in the Huruma area.

The Red Cross said 150 building units and adjacent homes were affected.

Live TV footage showed the National Youth Service and firefighters removing stones by hand and a crowd cheering as a child was removed from the rubble.

Hours-long traffic jams caused by flooded roads delayed rescue teams trying to reach the scene, said Japheth Koome, Nairobi's police chief, who confirmed the death toll.

Kenya is in the midst of its April-May rainy season.

Jacob Kiruma, who said he lived in the house adjacent to the building that collapsed, said it was constructed "shoddily".

The structure had been built in less than five months and the 126 single rooms were quickly occupied at a rent of US$35 a month, Kiruma said.

Area legislator Stephen Kariuki said this was the second building to collapse in a year.

He blamed the county government of failing to follow through with demolitions of buildings that were identified as unfit.

Because of a high demand for housing in Nairobi, some property developers bypass building regulations to cut costs and maximise profits.

The Architectural Society of Kenya has estimated that 50 percent of structures in Nairobi are not up to code.