SECTIONS

Building tumbles down after tenants evacuated

The five-storey building caved in at around 4am, Monday. [Willy Lusige, Standard]

A building in Ruiru, Kiambu County, collapsed hours after more than 100 tenants were evacuated.

The tenants were asked to leave on Sunday when cracks were noticed on the walls.

Ruiru sub-County Criminal Investigations Officer Justus Ombati told The Standard the five-storey building caved in at around 4am, Monday.

And police have arrested the owner of a building that collapsed in Ruaka last week where a couple died.

The woman, who had gone underground, was seized at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

Police believe the building’s owner, whose identity was not immediately revealed, was trying to flee after staying in hiding for four days.

She was driven to Karuri Police Station and is expected to be arraigned today.

Kiambu County Commissioner Joshua Nkanatha confirmed the arrest.

In the Ruiru incident, tenants raised the alarm when they noticed cracks on the building that was located opposite the Ruiru Police Station. 

The incident brings to four, the number of buildings that have collapsed in Nairobi and Kiambu within one month.

The tenants, including police officers, were ordered to move out and the building cordoned off. Hours later it collapsed.

“Yes, the condemned building collapsed in the early hours of Monday morning. Security has been beefed up in the area as investigations continue. We are trying to establish whether the owner followed the standard construction procedures,” said Mr Ombati.

Mr Nkanatha said police had launched a manhunt for the owner of the building.

Heavy losses

Some of the tenants who occupied the commercial cum residential building are counting losses after they were unable to salvage their belongings. 

One of the tenants Rishit Karania who owned Top Stars Distributors said he had incurred losses amounting to over Sh10 million. A former police officer who ran a night club in the building said he lost about Sh1 million. 

Kiambu Planning Executive Eunice Macharia blamed shortage of personnel for the shortcomings the county is facing in dealing with developers.

In the recent past, Kiambu County has been in the spotlight over collapsing buildings. The incidents are being blamed on lack of supervision, corruption and greed among contractors.