Search Underway for Nairobi Building Collapse Survivors

Search Underway for Nairobi Building Collapse SurvivorsSearch Underway for Nairobi Building Collapse Survivors

Rescuers in the Kenyan capital Nairobi are searching for dozens of people feared trapped after the collapse of a seven-story building in heavy rain.

TV coverage from the scene showed a crowd gathering at the Huruma residential estate, as rescuers dug for survivors. At least seven people are known to have died.

The Red Cross criticized “chaotic scenes” as rescuers arrived. Police told Kenya’s KTN network that at least 121 people had been rescued, BBC reported.

It is unclear how many people are trapped beneath seven floors of concrete. The rainfall, in addition, has caused landslides, washed away houses and flooded roads.

Police told KTN that 14 people died in the Nairobi rains, including those in the collapse. Another four died when a wall toppled over, officials said.

The Huruma neighborhood is a poor district on the outskirts of Nairobi made up of narrow streets, meaning firefighters struggled to get to the scene and were delayed by large crowds.

After some time, the army took charge of the rescue with the help of the Kenyan Red Cross.

“We can still hear voices of people who are still inside,” Red Cross spokesman Venant Ndigila said.

Residents said the building shook violently in the rain before collapsing.

Poor building standards are a fact of life in Kenya, correspondents say. A survey carried out last year found that more than half the buildings in the capital were unfit for habitation.

The high demand for housing in Nairobi has led to some property developers bypassing building regulations to reduce costs and increase profits.

There has, however, been some good news for the rescuers who extracted a number of children from the wreckage throughout Friday.

President Uhuru Kenyatta last year ordered an audit of all the buildings in the country after a spate of collapses.