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14 June 2017 | Kenya

Two dead after Kenya building collapse

AFP
Two people have died after being pulled from the collapsed building in Nairobi but the search goes on for other survivors.  By John MUCHUCHA (AFP/File)
Two people have died after being pulled from the collapsed building in Nairobi but the search goes on for other survivors. By John MUCHUCHA (AFP/File)

Nairobi (AFP) - The mother of two children rescued from a collapsed seven-storey building in Nairobi has died in hospital, officials said Wednesday, amid fears more people are trapped under the rubble.

The woman's daughter and son are in a stable condition after being pulled from the debris in a poor neighbourhood near Nairobi's international airport, southeast of the Kenyan capital.

"Unfortunately one female adult, believed to be the mother of the rescued children, succumbed to the injuries while undergoing treatment at the hospital," said Pius Masai, National Disaster Management Unit spokesman, who is coordinating the search and rescue mission after Monday night's tragedy.

It means the death toll has risen to two, after a boy's body was found dead in the rubble on Tuesday night.

The incident has renewed criticism over unregulated construction in the city of more than three million people.

No planning permission

Some residents expressed fears for the fate of family members and neighbours who had not immediately responded to the order to evacuate the seven-storey building in Nairobi Some residents expressed fears for the fate of family members and neighbours who had not immediately responded to the order to evacuate the seven-storey building in Nairobi

Police and local residents said the authorities were alerted on Monday after cracks appeared in the building, sparking an emergency evacuation before it collapsed two hours later.

Officials said they evacuated most residents, but at least two people are still feared to be missing, according to the Red Cross.

In all, 128 tenants have been accounted for, but it was not immediately clear how many people lived in the building.

Some local citizens have criticised officials for not doing more to ensure the safety of the structure, which was built in 2007 without official approval, according to the authorities.

Several buildings have collapsed in recent years in Nairobi and other Kenyan cities, where a property boom has seen buildings shoot up at speed, often with little regard for regulations.

In April 2016, 49 people died when a six-storey building collapsed in a poor neighbourhood northeast of the capital after days of heavy rain caused floods and landslides.

The building, constructed two years earlier, had been slated for demolition after being declared structurally unsound.

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