One per­son miss­ing in Kisii tragedy

Daily Nation (Kenya) - - NATIONAL NEWS - BY MAGATI OBEBO

One per­son was still miss­ing even as a res­cue op­er­a­tion at the site where a build­ing col­lapsed in Kisii came to an end yes­ter­day.

By last evening, the death toll stood at seven as 24 other peo­ple nursed in­juries in hospi­tals. They were ad­mit­ted to Hema, Christ Mar­ri­ane and Kisii Teach­ing and Re­fer­ral hospi­tals.

Emer­gency and hu­man­i­tar­ian agen­cies said a Mr Charles Mokaya had not been traced since the build­ing col­lapsed on Wed­nes­day morn­ing. He had been seen at the site shortly be­fore the build­ing went down but it was not clear whether he fled or got trapped in.

De­vel­oper be­ing pur­sued

Pre­lim­i­nary in­ves­ti­ga­tions in­di­cated the build­ing had been con­demned by the Na­tional Construction Author­ity for vi­o­lat­ing the build­ing code, Na­tional Dis­as­ter Man­age­ment Unit In­ci­dent Com­man­der Pius Ma­sai said.

Emer­gency re­sponse teams combed the site, sift­ing through the de­bris and flat­ten­ing one of the apart­ments be­fore the ex­er­cise was called off at 4.30 am.

Mr Ma­sai, who co­or­di­nated the res­cue op­er­a­tion, said the de­vel­oper is on the run but po­lice were pur­su­ing him.

“We urge him to sur­ren­der to help us with in­ves­ti­ga­tions,” said Mr Ma­sai. “It is clear from the rub­ble that the ce­ment used was be­low the ac­cept­able ra­tio.”

Kisii Gover­nor James Ong­wae, who vis­ited the scene, promised swift in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the in­ci­dent.

BENSON MOMANYI | NA­TION

Clean­ers at Kisii Teach­ing and Re­fer­ral Hospi­tal wheel a sur­vivor to the X-ray room on Wed­nes­day af­ter a build­ing col­lapsed in Kisii town.

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