The International Information Center for Structural Engineers

Monday, 09 December 2019 01:00cat

Building in Nairobi gives way: Fears of people trapped

Written by  TheStructuralEngineer.info
6-story building in Nairobi collapses 6-story building in Nairobi collapses CTV

A 6-story building collapsed in Nairobi, Kenya's capital, on Friday, December 6, 2019.

The residential building gave way at about 8:00 am as most residents were preparing to leave for work. Those who escaped stated that subsidence of the ground floor preceded the failure. They also claimed that there was no sign of deficiencies in the structure, therefore, the collapsed came like a bolt from the blue.

According to recent information, 2 people were killed by the collapse and more are feared to be trapped under the rubble. Α rescue operation is currently being conducted in search of survivors. “Tragedy has struck us again. Some people have been trapped inside and we are doing our best to free them," Gordon Kihalangwa, a public work official, stated.

Military forces and emergency crews are assisting the rescue efforts. Until now, 10 people have been pulled out of the debris. Heavy equipment was brought at the site, however, officials face an intricate choice about using it as it could hurt potential victims that are still under the rubble. Rainfalls that recently struck the area are making the situation more difficult.

According to a tweet from St. John Ambulance Kenya which participates in the rescue operations, 5 people, including a child, have been hospitalized.

22 families used to live inside the structure, the Red Cross stated. The owner did not live in the building and was unavailable. The cause of the collapse has not been clarified yet.

Building failures are very common in Nairobi. Housing demand is very high and contractors often bypass the safety regulations.

After a series of structural collapses during 2015, Uhuru Kenyatta, the President of Kenya, requested all the buildings to be inspected. The evaluation was conducted by the National Construction Authority and found out that 58% of all the buildings in Nairobi were deficient.

Sources: DWBloombergNation.co.ke

 

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