, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 18 – The death toll following the collapse of a residential building in Nairobi’s Makongeni estate has risen to four.
This is after three bodies were pulled out of the rubble Wednesday night according to the Kenya Red Cross Nairobi County Manager Michael Aiyabei.
“We pulled out one lady at 0100 hours and two gentlemen at 5.40 this morning,” he said.
One Lawic Mukagati however made it out alive to the relief of his brother and parents.
“I came all the way from Kakamega when I heard (the news),” his father, Francis Musalia, who made it in time to see his son pulled out alive at around 7.30pm told Capital FM News.
A mother and child, as of Thursday morning, however remained trapped in the rubble according to the Aiyabei and Makongeni ward representative Peter Imwatok.
“I spoke to her around 2.30pm (Wednesday) and she told me she was standing on the rubble under which her one year old dead baby girl lay but she couldn’t move to help her as she was trapped by a door and a window ledge was cutting into her forehead. We passed her an oxygen canister but we haven’t communicated since. Her phone battery went dead,” he narrated.
The MCA criticised the slow pace of the rescue despite Incident Commander Pius Mwachi’s defence that the operation was sluggish as they didn’t want the ‘soft’ rubble which came easily apart at the touch of a crane, coming down and further injuring those trapped and alive.
“The youth saved seven people this morning, so far, how many has the government saved?” the MCA wondered.
There were a total of 11 rescues as of Wednesday night with 17 of 22 reported missing remaining unaccounted for according to Aiyabei.
XCMG MD Zhang Yuan who donated a crane that can lift 50 tonnes also described the rescue effort that went on into Thursday as, “mismanaged.”
Assistant County Commander I Buxton Mayabi however expressed confidence on Thursday morning that the rescue would be complete by 3pm.
The Nairobi County Executive in-charge of Housing and Planning also said they would be investigating the structure of the surrounding buildings to guarantee their integrity especially as they are build on what was formerly a swamp.
The owner of the collapsed building, he said, was however still, “underground,” as of Thursday morning, having turned his cell phone off and this was in spite of assurances by Mayabi that, “he will not spend the night in his bed.”