Eight dead as rock rolls onto Mathare slum houses

Wednesday April 4 2012

Mathare landslide kills eight
Kenya Red Cross personnel retrieve the body of one of four people feared dead following a landslide in Nairobi's Mathare 4A slum April 4, 2012. KENYA RED CROSS
Kenya Red Cross personnel retrieve the body of one of four people feared dead following a landslide in Nairobi's Mathare 4A slum April 4, 2012. KENYA RED CROSS
By ZADOCK ANGIRA ([email protected])

Eight people died and many others were trapped under rubble following a landslide in Nairobi's Mathare 4A slum Wednesday.

The dawn incident occurred after a huge rock rolled downhill in torrential rains and slammed shacks in the sprawling slum.

One body was retrieved by Kenya Red Cross personnel as search and rescue operation got underway.

Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere, who was at the scene, confirmed the death toll of four.

However, four more bodies were retrieved bringing the number of those dead to eight.

Eight people were rushed to Kenyatta National Hospital and are receiving treatment while one person was brought in dead, the hospital said.

Kasarani MP Elizabeth Ongoro arrived at the scene as KRC and locals struggled to free the trapped, among them an 18-month old baby. Prime Minister Raila Odinga was also at the scene.

Nairobi Provincial Commissioner Njoroge Ndirangu ordered that structures built near the roadside be demolished.

The Red Cross and volunteers had a hard time retrieving those trapped due to inaccessibility.

"The main challenge at the moment is accessibility thus the appropriate machinery for rescue cannot access the scene of the tragedy. At the moment rescuers are using hoes and axes in the rescue efforts," it said in a statement.