Seventeen die in Nairobi floods

Ten victims died in the wreck of the six-storey building

Nairobi: Rescuers in the Kenyan capital made desperate efforts to free survivors trapped in a building that collapsed in storms that have left a total of 17 people dead.

Kenyan security forces and emergency personnel look for survivors under the rubble of a collapsed building in Nairobi. Pic/AFP
Kenyan security forces and emergency personnel look for survivors under the rubble of a collapsed building in Nairobi. Pic/AFP

President Uhuru Kenyatta visited the wreck of the six-storey building, where 10 people perished after concrete floors collapsed down on top of each other during torrential rainstorms on Friday.

The two-year-old building, home to more than over 150 families, had been condemned by building authorities but the order had been ignored.

"Ten bodies have been recovered, and we have 80 people who have been treated and discharged from hospital," said Interior Minister Joseph Nkaisser.

Seven other people died in floods elsewhere in Nairobi, including four killed when a wall collapsed. "There is a lady in the building and her child who are alive, and all efforts are being made to rescue them, as well as other people still believed to be in the building," Nkaissery said.

But access for rescuers with larger machinery has been made difficult by the narrow and crowded streets. Kenyatta ordered that police take immediate action to identify and arrest owners of buildings who have ignored directives by the National Construction Authority. The building collapsed at 9.30 pm following some of the heaviest downpours since the start of the rainy season.

Two neighbouring buildings were declared unsafe and were evacuated. In other separate incidents, two people drowned when their vehicle was swept away by storm waters, while another person died in floods.

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