, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 5 – Hopes of finding more survivors in the collapsed Huruma building have been rekindled after a woman was rescued alive, six days after the tragedy.
The woman was found trapped alive under the rubble of the collapsed building with no physical injury, according to the Incident Commander Pius Masai.
- A month long operation will also be kicked off to clean up the city of hazardous buildings
- Nairobi has 226 buildings declared unfit for human habitation
- So far, 36 bodies have been retrieved, 137 survivors rescued while 70 people are still missing
The rescue team was attracted by her loud appeals urging them to be careful since the debris was falling on her.
“Please be careful, you may pierce my eyes,” she was heard telling the rescue team, despite the deafening noise coming from excavators.
That would kick off a four-hour delicate operation to ensure she was safely removed from the rubble.
“We had to look for an alternative route since the debris was falling on her,” Masai told journalists. “We thought it would be a few minutes thing.”
The military first made a small opening to allow one of the medical personnel reach the woman to stabilise her health condition.
She was first administered with oxygen and other medicines, “to keep her condition stable. She could talk but not move.”
All this time, another team was busy extracting the debris piled on top of each other.
“We must make sure she is safe…the lady doctor is already down with her and we are optimistic that the outcome will be positive,” Masai would tell journalists in his frequent briefings about the operation. “The moment we saw rabbits (on Wednesday) I knew there will be more survivors.”
Masai thereafter notified traffic police along the route the ambulance would use to Kenyatta National Hospital to ensure she got there in record time.
After the tedious and delicate operation, the woman was rescued and rushed to hospital for specialised treatment.
Kenya Red cross Secretary General Abbas Gullet on his part said: “It is amazing. It was such a delicate operation.”
“These are God’s doings…we appeal to all Kenyans to come join the team so that we can rescue our people,” a moment, a teary Irene Wanjiru told Capital FM News.
Wanjiru is among six other women from Huruma, who have volunteered to cook for the rescue team.
Others decided to thank God, over what they termed as a big miracle, a few days after a six-month old baby was rescued alive.
“Oh Yahweh, you are the only God. This is a sign that Kenya will be the light of the world for the fullness of your word,” a lady was heard praying.
Others called on the government to demolish all unsafe buildings in the area, to avoid another tragedy.
“We want all of them to be demolished. They already killed our people,” a woman was heard saying.
The government is on Friday set to demolish five unsafe buildings in the area, even as the rescue operation continues.
A month long operation will also be kicked off to clean up the city of hazardous buildings.
Nairobi has 226 buildings declared unfit for human habitation.
“We can’t argue about this… They will be demolished,” the PS State Department of Public Works Paul Mwangi warned.
So far, 36 bodies have been retrieved, 137 survivors rescued while 70 people are still missing.