Collapsed Huruma building death toll rises to 22 - Daily Nation

Death toll rises to 22 as 65 still missing after building collapse

Monday May 2 2016

Rescue efforts under way at the site of the building that collapsed Huruma, Nairobi.

Rescue efforts under way at the site of the building that collapsed Huruma, Nairobi. The death toll has risen to 21. PHOTO | ROBERT NGUGI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By JACQUELINE KUBANIA
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By ELIZABETH MERAB
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The number of people who died in a city building that collapsed has risen to 22 as 135 others were rescued from the rubble of the six-storey residential block.

Rescue efforts have been slow, hampered by the fact that the collapsed building in Huruma is adjacent to a river that is blocking access to the site.

Rescue workers have complained that they are unable to move equipment onto some parts of the scene to help with heavy lifting.

At about 1pm, they brought a police sniffer dog to the site to help find the bodies.

EVACUATION

In the meantime, residents whose houses are adjacent to the collapsed building have been urged to evacuate since those too are in danger of caving in.

Some residents have, however, defied the order to evacuate, saying they have nowhere else to go.

Ngei Ward Administrator Allan Isaboke said officials may resort to using police to move people because the situation "is a matter of life and death."

A man carries his belongings after salvaging them from the rubble of a collapsed building in Nairobi's Huruma area on April 30, 2016.

A man carries his belongings after salvaging them from the rubble of a collapsed building in Nairobi's Huruma area on April 30, 2016. PHOTO | ROBERT NGUGI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

A total of 65 were still unaccounted for, with reports indicating that more people were still trapped under the wreckage of the building.

The building collapsed on Friday night.

At least 71 survivors were taken to Kenyatta National Hospital for treatment.

According to the hospital’s acting CEO, Dr Kennedy Koech, 58 people who had minor injuries were treated and discharged while 12 others who suffered fractures in the arms and legs were still being treated.

MORE SURVIVORS SEEKING TREATMENT

“One who suffered multiple injuries died on Saturday evening but we expect that the ones who are still admitted will undergo further treatment before being discharged,” said Dr Koech.

The CEO also said that none of the admitted patients was in critical condition and that all had been stabilised.

“We are now planning the next course of treatment for the remaining patients especially for those with fractured limbs. But they are out of danger,” added Dr Koech.

As late as Sunday afternoon, more survivors were still trickling into the referral hospital.

According to Public Service Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki, most of the survivors were young people and mothers, who were now out in the cold.

“I felt the need to encourage a fellow mother who is going through a trying time. That is why we came to the hospital,” said the CS.

Speaking at the hospital, her Water counterpart Eugene Wamalwa said the tragedy was avoidable.

“It is obvious that the building had been constructed on riparian land but no one took any action,” he said, and called on the county government to take stringent measures to rein in rogue developers.

It is not clear how many people were in the building at the time it came down.