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Six die, 15 seriously injured as another building collapses in Kisii

By Erick Abuga | Published Thu, October 12th 2017 at 00:00, Updated October 11th 2017 at 19:48 GMT +3
Rescue operations at the four storey building that collapsed at Mwembe Estate Kisii County. [Sammy Omingo, Standard]

Six people, including a primary school pupil, were killed and 15 others seriously injured when a building under construction in Kisii town collapsed on Wednesday.

At least 24 people were rescued as frantic efforts to save those trapped in the rubble after the morning incident at Mwembe estate went on.

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It was not immediately clear how many people were at the site at the time the four-storey building collapsed.

A man and his wife are among those injured when debris landed on their house, which is adjacent to the collapsed building.

Fidelis Ondoro, a night guard in a nearby hospital, and his wife Edinah are admitted in Kisii Level Five Hospital. The two are in stable condition.

Mr Ondoro said he had just gone to bed when the house came down.

“We heard a bang and immediately the roof of our house caved in. I don’t know what happened thereafter,” said Ondoro from the hospital’s emergency unit.

Their children escaped as they had already left for school.

Five of the injured are admitted in a private hospital and the rest in the county hospital.

Construction workers

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“Search and rescue efforts are ongoing and we thank the locals for the support they have given us so far. The number of people who were in the building at the time of the incident has not not been established. We suspect most them were construction workers,” said Governor James Ongwae.

“We’ll do everything, in collaboration with the national government, to save those still trapped in the rubble.

“This is tragic. No one foresaw this. We will support the bereaved families and those who lost their property in the incident,” said Mr Ongwae.

County Commissioner Godfrey Kigochi said investigations were underway to establish why the building collapsed.

“We will do everything to get to the bottom of the matter,” said Mr Kigochi.

The building, which was almost complete, was said to have been built in an area classified as a wetland.

The county hospital’s CEO, Enock Ondari, said the injured were in stable condition. One had been referred to another hospital for specialised treatment.

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In November last year, six people died and 43 others were injured when a building under construction collapsed in Daraja Moja near Kisii town.

It later emerged the building was among 28 others that had been earmarked for demolition.

On Wednesday, County Disaster Management Director Julius Tinega said the rescue operation would continue until all the victims were rescued.

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