6 dead, 34 in­jured af­ter con­demned 10-storey Kisii build­ing col­lapses

I fear for my col­leagues’ lives. I sur­vived be­cause I was on the ground floor – sur­vivor. More be­lieved to be trapped in rub­ble

The Star (Kenya) - - News - ANGWENYI GICHANA, BEN­SON NYAGESIBA @TheS­tarKenya

Six peo­ple died yes­ter­day af­ter a 10-storey build­ing un­der con­struc­tion in Kisii town col­lapsed.

Thirty-four peo­ple, among them seven chil­dren, were in­jured. Twen­tysix peo­ple were ad­mit­ted at the Kisii Teach­ing and Re­fer­ral Hospi­tal. Hospi­tal CEO Dr On­dari Otieno said 17 were treated and dis­charged.

Res­cue op­er­a­tions were still on­go­ing by yes­ter­day evening, with peo­ple be­lieved to be trapped un­der the rub­ble.

The build­ing was last year con­demned by the Na­tional Con­struc­tion Author­ity.

Re­ports in­di­cate the ap­proved plan was for a three-storey build­ing, but the de­vel­oper went ahead and added seven more floors.

NCA South Nyanza re­gional co­or­di­na­tor Lu­cas Ad­w­era said it will pre­pare a re­port that will be pre­sented to the press soon.

Sur­vivor Lil­ian Akinyi said she felt the build­ing shake and scam­pered for safety.

She said many of her work­mates on the sec­ond floor are still trapped. “I fear for the lives of my col­leagues. I sur­vived be­cause I was on the ground floor,” Akinyi said.

An­other sur­viver Robert Omwenga said, “Some floors sank be­fore it col­lapsed. Some of the peo­ple in­jured were on the road.”

David Om­bogo said his sis­ter Kerubo, who owned a shop in the build­ing, was among those trapped in the rub­ble.

“I was in­formed Kerubo is still trapped in­side. I have tried to call her but she is not an­swer­ing my calls,” he said. Kisii Gov­er­nor James Ong­wae said the county has mo­bilised res­cue teams to evac­u­ate ca­su­al­ties.

“It is un­for­tu­nate this tragedy has hap­pened in our county. I’m hop­ing that with the help of vol­un­teers and our teams, we shall get ev­ery­one out,” he said.

Ong­wae said doc­tors have been put on high alert to han­dle emer­gen­cies. He said the build­ing was ap­proved by en­gi­neers work­ing for the de­funct Kisii Mu­nic­i­pal Coun­cil.

He said ac­tion would be taken against of­fi­cers found cul­pa­ble. Ong­wae was ac­com­pa­nied by his Nyamira coun­ter­part John Nya­garama and Kisii county com­mis­sioner Kula Hache. Nya­garama warned de­vel­op­ers against us­ing sub­stan­dard ma­te­ri­als and said his county will pro­vide ad­di­tional equip­ment to help in the res­cue mis­sion.

The 10-storey build­ing that col­lapsed in Kisii town yes­ter­day / BEN­SON NYAGESIBA

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