, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 1 – The death toll from the Huruma house collapse tragedy has risen to 16, according to official figures released on Sunday.
Pius Masai of the National Disaster Management Unit said, “The people dead from this incident is now 16.”
This follows the recovery of four more bodies in the ongoing search and rescue operation which entered the second day Sunday—with diminishing hopes of finding any more people alive.
On Sunday morning, the rescuers led by the military had started using heavy machinery to lift up debris from the site as they searched for more bodies.
The Kenya Red Cross said it had documented reports of 69 missing people believed to have been at the building at the time it went down on Friday night. Affected families were being counseled on Sunday—including those yet to trace their relatives and those who lost loved ones.
Among those missing is Ruth Juma, one of the victims who moved into the building 3 weeks ago.
“We do not know whether she is still alive together with her 2 children,” a family member, who did not give his name said.
John Arezi, a resident of Huruma said he was yet to trace his brother in law and his 7 month old baby.
“They are still trapped there,” Arezi said, with his eyes fixated on the debris.
His sister managed to escape with injuries when the building went down on Friday night.
“Her pain is too much…her 7 months old baby and the husband are missing. It is painful,” he said.
So far 135 people who were injured have been received medication.
The Government has already set up a helpline numbers– 0722 505 647 and 0715 820 219 — to assist friends and relatives trace their missing kin.