Several trapped as building collapses in Nairobi amid ongoing demolition

A tragic incident unfolded in Kenya’s capital on Monday as a three-story building undergoing demolition suddenly collapsed, trapping numerous people under the rubble.

The building, located in a densely populated area of Nairobi, came down unexpectedly while people were inside retrieving their belongings.

Local resident Faith Opuko reported that up to ten young men might be trapped in the debris. “There might be about 8, 9 or 10 young men, who are trapped in there. So far so good, but the government has totally failed us today. Rescue efforts arrived too late, after five hours with no help,” Opuko lamented, expressing frustration at the delayed response from authorities.

Eugene Atonga, a survivor of the collapse, described the chaotic scene as the building began to give way. “As people were trying to salvage their steel, the building started collapsing. Those who heard shouts of the building going down, quickly got out, but some who were on the upper floors feared jumping and the building caved in with them inside. I saw two people being crushed,” Atonga recounted.

Rescue efforts were hampered by the extensive damage and the instability of the remaining structure. A Red Cross official on the scene confirmed that two people had been rescued, while another two remained trapped. However, a local police chief indicated that only one person had been brought out alive.

The disaster has prompted immediate action from authorities, who have ordered the evacuation and demolition of several buildings in the area. These measures are in response to the unusually heavy rains that have plagued Kenya during its rainy season, which starts in March and can extend through June. The torrential downpours have caused widespread flooding, exacerbating the risks of structural failures in many buildings.

As the rescue operation continues, the community remains in a state of shock and anger, demanding answers and accountability for the delayed emergency response. The incident has also raised urgent questions about building safety standards and the preparedness of disaster response teams in the face of natural calamities exacerbated by climate change.

Further updates are expected as the situation develops and more information becomes available regarding those still trapped and the ongoing rescue efforts.

Sourced from Africanews

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