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Death toll from collapsed Kenyan building climbs to 12

Death toll from collapsed Kenyan building climbs to 12

Kenya

At least a dozen people are now confirmed dead after a six storey building collapsed in the Kenyan capital on Friday night.

More than 120 people were also left injured after the building came down following days of heavy rain and flooding in Nairobi.

Officials said on Saturday, the building did not have an occupancy permit and police have ordered its owner to turn himself in.

The building did not have an occupancy permit, which is a government requirement for all buildings

“The building did not have an occupancy permit, which is a government requirement for all buildings,” said Stephen Oundo, chairman of the National Construction Authority.

Details about the residential building emerged a day after its collapse on Friday, after which crowds of onlookers gathered to try to help pry victims from the rubble.

The Kenya Red Cross said 150 building units and adjacent homes were affected.

It is feared more people are still trapped in the debris.

Rescuers said they could hear voices of five people trapped in the building and said it will be difficult to remove the concrete slabs using heavy machinery without endangering those stuck in the rubble, said nominated legislator Johnson Sakaja.

Nairobi Deputy Governor, Jonathan Mueke, said an investigation would look into why the building collapsed.

“The building went down during the heavy rains, but we still want to establish if all the procedures were followed when it was constructed,” he said.

Area legislator Stephen Kariuki said this was the second building to collapse in a year. He blamed the county government for failing to follow through with demolitions of buildings that were identified as unfit for human habitation.

Nairobi has seen a building boom over the last few years, but there are questions about the quality of materials used and the speed of construction.

President Uhuru Kenyatta last year ordered an audit of all the country’s buildings to see if they are up to code after eight buildings collapsed, killing at least 15 people.

The report from the audit by the National Construction Authority found that 58 percent of buildings in the capital are unfit for habitation.

The collapse happened during some of the heaviest downpours of the rainy season which started in March.