Two dead, scores trapped in Huruma collapsed building
At least two people were killed and several others injured on Sunday evening when a six-storey residential building collapsed in Huruma estate.
One died on arrival at Kenyatta while a child’s body was retrieved from the rubble, an official from the Kenya National Disaster Operation Centre said.
City officials said 22 survivors had been pulled out of the rubble of the building but said it was unclear how many others were still trapped.
The building collapsed at around 7:00pm , sparking a major rescue operation involving scores of police, city officials and medical workers, an AFP photographer at the scene said.
Medical workers said more than 20 people had been admitted to local hospitals.
TREATED AND DISCHARGED
The Kenya Red Cross indicated that 14 casualties had been taken to Kenyatta National Hospital. Three of them were treated and discharged.
Rescuers had a hard time trying to access the collapsed building due to a heavy crowd that gathered at the scene.
Speaking to a local radio station, Nairobi County official Tom Odongo said the six floors of the building were all occupied and a seventh was under construction.
He also said the upper floors were built in quick succession, putting pressure on the lower floors, and added that the construction had not been permitted by local authorities.
“The fault lies with the developer, not the county government, because responsibility starts with the individual,” Mr Odongo insisted.
Large numbers of residents also swarmed the site, volunteering to dig in the rubble with their bare hands, although crowds were pushed away by police as heavy lifting machinery and official rescue teams were brought in.
“I’d gone out to watch the Arsenal (football) game when the building collapsed,” said Eric Ochieng, a witness and resident of the building.
“I rushed back for my wife and son, and I also pulled out two people and a child in the process.”
The collapsed building borders a primary school on one side and a maze of similar, densely populated houses on the other.
The latest tragedy comes barely a month after another residential flat collapsed in Nairobi’s Kaloleni Estate in which eight people died and several others injured.