A residential building under construction collapsed on Tuesday in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi.
Construction workers are feared trapped under the rubble and rescue operations have begun.
According to witnesses, some people who were injured during the collapse were being treated in a nearby hospital.
“It was at 2 p.m. when we noticed that the building’s pillars had begun to crumble. We then started screaming to alert the people who were inside the building to escape. Some of them managed to escape while others did not”, said witness, John Muli.
In 2015, eight buildings collapsed in Kenya, killing 15 people. An audit by the National Construction Authority found that 58 per cent of the buildings in Nairobi were not habitable.
Another witness, Isaiah Maina, added that “the structure is just poor. Looking at the columns, looking at the materials, they are not as they are supposed to be”.
Building collapses are common in Nairobi, where housing is in high demand and unscrupulous developers often bypass regulations.
It was not immediately clear how many people were inside when the structure fell. The Kenya Red Cross said in a Twitter post 11 people had been rescued by late afternoon.
As rescue operations continued in Nairobi’s Tassia estate, scores of people clustered around the pancaked structure waiting to find news of their families and friends.
Separately, Reuben Ndolo, the Nairobi Regional Police Commander, told Reuters news agency: “Three people have died, and 27 others have been rushed to hospital. One was seriously injured”.
“Tragedy has struck us again,” public works official, Gordon Kihalangwa, said. “Some people have been trapped inside and we are doing our best to free them.”
After eight buildings collapsed and killed 15 people in Kenya in 2015, then President, Uhuru Kenyatta, ordered an audit of all the country’s buildings to see if they were up to code.
The National Construction Authority found that 58 per cent of buildings in the capital were unfit for habitation. —BBC