Building collapses in Kenya, several missing
In a very low income neighborhood close to Nairobi’s international airport in the Southeastern part of the city, a building collapsed and according to the rescue services in Nairobi on Tuesday, at least five people were missing.
“We have been able to evacuate some people, 128 tenants have been rescued by the midday on Tuesday. However, some people might have been left behind,” the deputy director of the National Disaster Management, Pius Masai, told the Reuters news agency at the site of the collapsed building on Monday night.
To ease the rescuers’ task, the city’s governor appealed to the owner of the collapsed building to quickly provide the architectural plan of the building.
People that came from various government departments, including the youth service, dug through the collapsed building with bare hands, and got out items like television sets and mattresses among others. Then, a specialist unit from the military, cut through the walls and floors reaching the top.
It was reported by officials that, the buildings’ tenants had been asked to evacuate as soon as possible after the residents had reported cracks in the walls of the building, a week earlier.
Unfortunately, the building’s owner instead plastered the cracks over with cement, until they (cracks) later re-emerged on Monday morning and later caused a disaster.
Governor Evans Kidero informed that, the collapsed building had already been listed among those that were to be soon demolished.
“We had not reached a point where we were going to demolish it, even though it was listed among those that needed to be put to the ground,” the governor explained.
A newspaper in Kenya (The star) reported that, the building was constructed in 2007, without proper planning, permission or approval.
“At least 30,000 to 40,000 buildings constructed without approval in Kenya’s capital were at a risk of collapse,” said Governor Kidero.
After the incident, the government of the Republic of Kenya ordered the demolition of all the buildings that are in an alarming condition.
Similar tragedies have been happening in Kenya in the past.
In May last year, 49 people were reported dead when a building still in a poor neighborhood, collapsed due to a heavy night time pour.
Correspondent: Shamirah Abdallah