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Death toll rises to six in Mathare slum rock collapse

By | Apr 4th 2012 | 2 min read
By | April 4th 2012

By Cyrus Ombati

A woman's body has been retrieved bringing to six the number of deaths following a rock collapse in Mathare A4 slums, Nairobi. Several others are still trapped, rescue teams have been deployed to the area and  rescue operations are under way.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Kasarani MP Elizabeth Ongoro visited the scene.

Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere had earlier visited the scene and confirmed four people had died and nine others taken to hospital for treatment. 

Kenya Red Cross officials at the scene where a rock rolled onto slum houses in Mathare 4A, Nairobi. Six people have died and several are still trapped in the rubbles. [PHOTO: Kenya Red Cross]

Residents say "many" people are trapped in the mud after a wall and a rock landed on the houses.

It is believed the fall was caused by heavy rains experienced in the city overnight.

A caller said the wall caved in on the houses at about 4am on Wednesday and it took long for the emergency services to arrive.

Emergency services, including Police and Kenya Red Cross (KRC) officials, have been mobilised to help the victims who were sleeping in the houses when the incident happened.

Starehe Division police boss Aphiod Nyagah said he could see people trapped in the collapsed area and calling for help but he could do little to rescue them.

"There is no road to lead the emergency teams here. People are trapped and the vehicles cannot access the scene. We have to demolish some houses to enable the teams here," he said on the phone.

"We have to get a bulldozer or tractor to remove these rubbles. It is a bad scene," said Nyagah.

Witnesses and KRC officials said five people were pulled out of the mud alive minutes after the incident occured.

City Council Fire Brigade officials who arrived at the scene on time could do little as they said they needed a tractor to help them remove the heavy soil to reach the trapped.

Police said they had called doctors to the scene to attend to those rescued.

Witnesses said efforts to remove the rubbles were hampered by the heavy rocks that were on the houses.

The incident once again put on the spot the rescue and emergency services in the city with the residents airing their anger at the pace at which they responded.

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