Building Collapse in Kenya Kills 7, Injures 121 people

Following one of the heaviest downpours since the start of the rainy season, a six-storey building collapsed in Nairobi on Friday night at around 9:30pm, leaving 7 people dead and about one hundred and twenty-one others injured and currently receiving treatment in the hospital.

Yahoo news is reporting that the Kenyan Red Cross and other rescue teams are on site making frantic efforts through the pile of crumbled rubble in a desperate search for survivors of the collapse which has affected about one hundred and fifty households.

“We have lost seven people after the house collapsed last night, we have 121 others who have been rescued and taken to hospital,” Nairobi police chief Japheth Koome told AFP.

A surge in the middle class has triggered an explosion in demand for housing and a rise in real estate prices in Nairobi bringing about a building boom for some years but the quality of materials used and speed of construction have sometimes been called into question.

Nairobi’s deputy Governor Jonathan Mueke, who visited the scene on Saturday morning, said an investigation would look into why the two-year old building collapsed.

“The building went down during the heavy rains, but we still want to establish if all the procedures were followed when it was constructed,” he said.

Kenya Red Cross spokeswoman Arnolda Shiundu said the site had been “complete chaos” and teams were “still searching,” assisted by a crane.

“We don’t know how many people are under the rubble, but we fear there are still several of them,” she said.

A building in another part of the city also collapsed, killing at least three people, according to local media and two neighbouring buildings in the densely-populated and poor Huruma neighbourhood were declared unsafe on Saturday and are being evacuated.