Two children found alive in rubble after building collapses in Kenya

John Ndiso and Ben Makori | NAIROBI

Two children were pulled alive on Tuesday from the wreckage of a seven-storey building in a residential area of Nairobi, rescue services said, nearly 24 hours after the building collapsed.

The Kenya Red Cross said the two children were rescued from the rubble minutes apart. The body of a woman was also found. The children were rushed to hospital.

“We have pulled out three … Two children, a boy and a girl all are alive,” Barsdley Nyangi, a rescuer with the National Disaster Management Unit, told Reuters.

Earlier in the day, Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero, speaking at the scene of the collapse, said 30,000 to 40,000 buildings built without approval in Kenya’s capital were at risk.

Residents said tenants of the building, part of a low-income neighbourhood called Pipeline Estate in southern Nairobi, near the international airport, had noticed cracks in the walls a week earlier. The building owners plastered over them with cement.

The cracks re-emerged on Monday morning, prompting officials to ask the residents to leave the building. At least 128 did leave, saving them from being trapped when the building came down

DIGGING THROUGH RUBBLE

Rescuers drawn from various government departments dug through the rubble of the building with bare hands, pulling out broken beds, mattresses and television sets, after a specialist unit from the military cut through walls and floors at the top.

Distraught relatives stood nearby and watched. They included David Kisia, who said he got a call while at work on Monday night about the collapse. His wife and three children were still missing at lunchtime on Tuesday.

“I have told them that my family is to the back of the building, but they are insisting on finishing one side first,” Kisia said.

Kenya has seen similar tragedies in the past. Forty-nine people died last year when another building collapsed during a heavy nighttime downpour in a poor neighbourhood. The government ordered the demolition of many other buildings after that incident.

Risky buildings are usually in the poorer sections of the city. Attempts to deal with the problem in the past have been stymied by owners of the buildings, who rush to court to stop demolition or other actions.

Kidero asked magistrates and judges to consider the human cost of unsafe buildings before issuing court orders against demolition.

“They should not come in our way because the result is what we have seen here,” he said.

(Additional reporting by George Obulutsa and Humphrey Malalo; Writing by Duncan Miriri; Editing by Larry King)

 

Related Content

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up for free newsletters and get more CNBC AFRICA delivered to your inbox

More from CNBC Africa

Kenya announces phased re-opening of the country from coronavirus lockdown

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta announced on Monday a phased re-opening of the country from a lockdown imposed to curb...

Australia’s Prospect Resources picks advisor for sale of Zimbabwe lithium mine

HARARE (Reuters) - Australian-listed Prospect Resources said on Monday it had picked Renaissance Securities Capital as its exclusive financial advisor for the...

This crowdfunding initiative is helping vulnerable Lagosians during COVID-19

A new private sector-led initiative is looking to crowd source funds from Nigerians to help about two million Lagosians whose livelihoods have been severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Yomi Adedeji, CEO of Softcom and Convener of the HelpNow Initiative joins CNBC Africa for more.

How COVID-19 has impacted the progress of Dangote Refinery

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, work is still on-going at the 650 000 barrels per day Dangote Refinery, which is expected to be commissioned in January next year. The company’s Group Executive Director Devakumar Edwin joins CNBC Africa to share some insight on the progress.

Partner Content

Maktech’s Godwin Makyao: Now Is A Time of Entrepreneurial Opportunity in East Africa

As an executive decision-maker in both the telecommunications and tourism industries, Godwin Makyao could not have experienced a more diverse set of...

Sanlam launches urgent job-preservation initiative in response to COVID-19

Sanlam Investments is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic through large-scale support of the recovery of South African companies, from small enterprises to...

Trending Now

Morocco’s economy to contract 13.8% in Q2, 4.6% in Q3 – planning agency

Rabat (Reuters) - Morocco’s economy is expected to contract by 13.8% in the second quarter under the impact of the coronavirus lockdown,...

What’s Next For The U.S. Economy: Gary Shilling

Financial analyst Gary Shilling says the stock market could be set for a big pullback similar to the decline in the 1930s during the Great Depression. He explains how the coronavirus pandemic will result in long-term structural changes in the economy

Nigerian equities dip further

The NSE All Share Index was the lone laggard among the African bourses last week shedding 1.99 per cent. What can we expect from the Lagos bourse this week? Ayodeji Ebo, Managing Director of Afrinvest Securities joins CNBC Africa for more....

Naira Outlook: CBN working on gradual unification of exchange rates

No doubt Nigeria's currency has come under pressure in recent months; the Central Bank of Nigeria says it is working towards the gradual unification of exchange rates. But what does the CBN's recent move in asking lenders to bid for dollars at 5 per cent above the official rate mean for the markets going forward? Victor Aluyi, Head of Portfolio Management at Comercio Partners joins CNBC Africa for more.
- Advertisement -