Survivors heard crying in rubble of collapsed Nairobi building

  • 01/05/2016

By George Obulutsa

Rescue workers are racing to save more residents from the rubble of a six-storey building in Nairobi after it collapsed following heavy rain, killing at least 10 people.

President Uhuru Kenyatta visited the site of Friday night's disaster and ordered the arrest of the owners.

"We are still hearing some voices from the collapsed building," Kenya National Disaster Operation Centre director Colonel Nathan Kigotho, told reporters at the scene on Saturday.

"We don't have the exact number of people buried in the rubble."

Survivors heard crying in rubble of collapsed Nairobi building

Ten bodies had been recovered from the building so far, including at least five of children, and a mother and baby could be heard beneath the rubble, Interior Minister Joseph Ole Nkaissery told reporters.

After mainly working with hands and power tools, rescue workers moved in two excavator vehicles to assist in lifting heavy masonry.

Heavy rains have led to building collapses in the past in poor neighbhourhoods of the Kenyan capital, which residents have usually blamed on shoddy or illegal construction.

The building in Nairobi's poor suburb of Huruma in eastern Nairobi had 198 rooms, Kigotho said.

Some residents escaped before the collapse and at least 133 people were rescued.

The president told officials "to undertake an immediate survey of all the houses in the area to find out those which are at risk of collapsing", his office said in a statement.

"The biggest cause of this was that the building was next to the river. The water most likely undermined the foundation," he said.

Lower floors of the building crumpled, leaving some of the top storey still standing.

Broken bed frames, mattresses and clothes protruded from the wreckage.