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Victims of collapsed building in Nairobi recall ordeal

18 December 2014, 08:13

Nairobi - A five-storey building collapsed early Wednesday, killing one person and leaving 10 others with injuries in Nairobi's Makongeni estate.

"One victim succumbed to injuries on the way to hospital while three are undergoing treatment. Six with minor injuries were treated and discharged," said an official from Kenyatta National Hospital.

Others were trapped in the debris, and they are believed to be in stable condition since they were still communicating with relatives and friends during the rescue operation.

The building, which was reported to host more than 30 families, was under construction.

Some of the victims who spoke with the media in Kenyatta National Hospital said majority of the victims were students studying in various colleges in Nairobi.

One of the victims, Kenneth Rubia, said the students resided there due to its proximity and pocket-friendly rent charges.They were asleep when the incident happened.

Also read: Scores injured as building collapses in Makongeni

"I was living with my sister in the room and after the loud bang, I raised an alarm and my sister rushed to open the door and find out what had happened," Rubia said at his hospital bed.

"It was unfortunate that the house immediately collapsed when she was opening the door and she was trapped in the debris. I never saw her again," he told journalists.

Luckily, he said, rescue team responded immediately and rushed the victims to hospital.

Rescue officials from the Chinese construction company, Kenya Red Cross Society, National City Fire Brigade, National Youth Service and the Kenya National Disaster Operation combined efforts to rescue the victims. Rescue efforts in the building were hindered since the multi-storey building had only one exit point.

Rubia said the building was in a dilapidated condition and most of the tenants had threatened to vacate it. "We were planning to relocate from the building since it developed extensive cracks on the walls," he added.

Another victim, a teenage female, Carolyne Mwau, who was treated and discharged, said she was woken up at 3:00 a.m. by the noise and came back to her senses in the hospital.

"I thought it was raining outside and thunderstorms had rendered the atmosphere, but I sensed danger when I heard people screaming in pain. I did not understand what transpired later but I just found myself in hospital," said Mwau who lived with her sister.

Residents in the area complained that most of the buildings in Nairobi do not meet the required standards, and called upon the government to take appropriate measures to avert similar incidence in future.

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