A six-story residential building collapsed in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, killing at least seven people, with many others feared trapped in the rubble. The country is currently facing a spate of heavy rains and floods that have caused damage to life and property in many parts.
"Seven people are confirmed dead and 121 people have been rescued and rushed to various hospitals in Nairobi," Japheth Koome, Nairobi County police chief, told Reuters by telephone.
The building in the Huruma area of Nairobi was inhabited by about 100 people and its collapse has caused fears about the other houses in the area.
Jonathan Mueke, deputy governor of Nairobi County reportedly urged people to move out of their vulnerable houses in the area. "It is raining, and these houses were built without Nairobi County authorisation," Mueke was quoted by Reuters as saying on privately-owned QTV station. "I am asking residents in the area to leave. In the area where this one collapsed there are 189 houses," he added.
Although the cause of the collapse of the building is yet to be determined, Red Cross spokeswoman Arnolda Shiundu quoted people as saying that the bottom floors of the building began caving before the collapse, CNN reported. It is feared that heavy rains might have caused the collapse. She added that officials do not have an idea of how many people are missing from the "chaotic scene."
Among the survivors, most of the adults have been taken to Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital, while children were taken to Kenyatta National Hospital, CNN reported, citing its affiliate KTN.
Red Cross volunteers and residents were reportedly helping national and local police officers in the rescue work. A KTN video reportedly shows rescue workers removing the rubble by hand as large crowds surround the site. Rescue work was ongoing at the time of filing of the report.
At least three people were killed when a wall collapsed in a similar incident in another area in the capital city, BBC reported, citing local media reports.
The series of collapses in the rain and flood-hit country in the past year prompted President Uhuru Kenyatta to order an audit of all the buildings in the country, BBC wrote.