Two people died and 15 others rescued after a 10-storey building under construction collapsed in Malindi. Several people living in nearby residential houses were trapped.
The ill-fated building located adjacent to Gapco petrol station in Malindi’s Barani area collapsed at about 5am on Friday. By the time of going to press, two people were still trapped in the debris.
It was not clear whether torrential rains that have pounded the Coast for the last three days, leading to flooding in Tana River, Kilifi, Kwale, Mombasa and Taita Taveta counties, caused the collapse. Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) North Coast Regional Coordinator Hassan Musa said one person died at the scene and the other in hospital. Mr Musa said two more people were still trapped in the building as rescuers worked round the clock.
“Two people have died and two others are still trapped in the debris. We have rushed several survivors to hospital,” he said.
Survivors are admitted to Malindi Sub County hospital with various injuries. The tourist resort town has experienced a heavy down pour for three consecutive days.
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Mwasiti Hamisi who was sleeping in the same room with her young son said she was awoken by heavy noises. “I sensed it might have been the building that was caving in. I picked my son and tried to escape only to be trapped,” Ms Hamisi said.
She called for help and well-wishers who had milled around came to her rescue. Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi and area MPs visited the site and hospital to condole with survivors. Meanwhile, the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has said the collapsed building was condemned in August last year.
Kilifi County NEMA boss Samuel Lopokoit said a letter had been issued to the owner and contractor to stop the project but construction continued at night. He said the developer had earlier in 2013 stopped construction after an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report found that the project had not complied with construction regulations.
“The developer applied to NEMA in March 2013 for an EIA to construct the building and the report was reviewed but it had problems,” said Lopokoit.
Several houses in Changamwe, Kisauni and Likoni in Mombasa have collapsed following the heavy rains. No casualties have been reported. Yesterday, Kenya National Highway Authority (Kenha) cautioned motorists to drive carefully along the Ukunda-Lunga Lunga highway following the flooding on the Ramisi bridge.