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Kaloleni fallen flat death toll rises to six

The death toll from the collapsed building in Nairobi’s Makongeni Estate rose to six as hopes of finding more survivors faded on Thursday.

The last person was pulled out alive at 8.30pm on Wednesday, 18 hours after the five-storey building went down.

The sixth body was retrieved from the rumble in the afternoon.

St John Ambulance communications manager Fred Majiwa said four people were missing, going by the accounts of relatives at the site.

NO MORE EXPECTATIONS

“Efforts are going on to complete the mission. Unfortunately there may be no more expectations of life. Besides the deaths, 11 other people sustained injuries and underwent treatment,” he said.

Three floors of the building were occupied while an upper one was still under construction.

Each floor had five units, mostly occupied by Technical University of Kenya students.

Rescue teams from the military, Kenya National Disaster Operation Centre, Kenya Red Cross, St John’s Ambulance and the fire brigade were at the site following the 3am incident.

Kaloleni Estate Residents Association chairman Ezra Olack said the building was not supposed to be built there in the first place.

PLAYGROUND

He said residents had written to Nairobi County government on several occasions, saying it stood on a public land reserved as a playground.

“We have copies of the letter to the county government that we wrote two years ago concerning the illegal allocation of the playing ground and also the disaster in waiting, but they have not responded,” said Mr Olack.

He added: “We want the county government to take full responsibility and also ensure the land reverts back to the public.”

The official also questioned why the construction was approved since the area on which it stood is a wetland.

Those injured had fractures on the arms and legs. Many others got minor injuries.

Mr Majiwa estimated the joint team would finish the job by end of  Thursday.

A Chinese firm also brought a crane that was used in lifting concrete slabs at the site.

OWNER MISSING

The Nairobi County Executive in-charge of Housing and Planning said they would investigate the matter.

At the same time, police were looking for the owner of the building who went missing immediately the collapse happened.

Nairobi Deputy Governor Jonathan Mueke, Lands Minister Charity Ngilu, members of Parliament, Devolution Principal Secretary Mwanamaka Mabruki and his Planning counterpart Peter Mangiti were some of the leaders who visited the scene.

A survivor, Eric Wambugu, the personal driver of Attorney-General Githu Muigai said that on Wednesday night, one of the tenants told them to get out of the building as he had noticed some debris falling from the top floor of the building.

The tenants got out but after a few minutes, went back at 11pm as they did not notice “anything serious”.