6 injured as building collapses in Nairobi
Posted Sunday, June 19 2011 at 13:18
Six construction workers narrowly escaped death after a five-storey building they were working on collapsed in Nairobi on Sunday morning.
This comes barely a week after another building collapsed in Embakasi killing four people and leaving another 14 injured.
The six workers were on the fifth floor of the building that was under construction off Lang'ata road.
According to an eye witness, Mr Lemaiyan Keloi, they did not notice that part of the building was slowly caving in.
“I shouted ‘lie down!’ but none of them heard me,” Mr Keloi, told the Nation.
Mr Julius Mutunga, one of the construction workers at the site, said he and his colleagues were caught off guard when the the incident occurred.
“One side of the building was slanted so we lay still until everything was quiet,” Mr Mutunga told the Nation at Nairobi West Hospital where he was undergoing treatment.
“I am now scared of working at construction sites,” Mr Mutunga said, adding that this could be his last construction job.
Mr George Kimani, the owner of the building, termed it as an unfortunate incident.
“I was at Langata shopping centre when I got a call that the building had collapsed. It was supposed to serve as guesthouse,” he said.
He estimated the lost property to be worth Sh15 million shillings.
Nairobi is experiencing a construction boom, at a time when Kenyan construction companies have been criticised for flouting safety regulations.
A fortnight ago, the Architecture Association of Kenya issued a report, saying 65 per cent of the country's buildings do not meet the required standards.
Constructors have been accused of failing to enforce strict safety measures, using substandard materials and employing poor workmanship to cut on costs.
Other construction workers injured during the Sunday morning incident are Mr John Barasa, 23, Mr Kennedy Chira, 21, John Asafa, 33 years and Sylvester Mutua 36.
The sixth worker was undergoing medical examination and his colleagues said they could hardly remember his name as they fondly referred to each other as fundi while at work.
Town Clerk Philip Kisia had also raised the alarm over buildings in Embakasi-Pipeline, Kahawa West Phase II, Tassia, Umoja Zone 8 and 9, Kayole, Roysambu and Mwiki and cautioned tenants against occupying them.
Mr Kisia said Nairobi City Council had tried to block the illegal construction of the building in Embakasi when it started in 2009 but the developers moved to court and got an injunction.