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Fifth body pulled from collapsed building

By Cyrus Ombati | June 11th 2012

By Cyrus Ombati

A fifth body was pulled out of the four-storey building that collapsed on Saturday trapping about 20 people in the sprawling Mlolongo area in Nairobi.

Officials who were involved in the search and rescue mission called it off late on Sunday after removing all the debris that had piled there.

The building, which was still under construction, collapsed leaving several occupants, including customers in a restaurant, trapped in the debris.

The death toll stood at five while more than 15 others were treated and discharged from hospital with multiple injuries.

Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka visited the scene to condole with the families who lost their loved ones.

Mr Musyoka called upon developers to follow the laid down procedures and use professionals during construction in order to avoid the collapse of buildings in future.

“Such tragedies can be avoided if Kenyans employed qualified architects and quantity surveyors and using quality materials,” he said.

He criticized developers in the area who put up structures without supervision of professionals

Mr Musyoka directed the local county officials to ensure quantity surveyors and architects oversee the exercise all the time.

“There should be periodic inspection of such structures to ensure proper adherence of law. This must be done by professionals,” he said.

The military, fire brigade, Kenya Red Cross joined the exercise even as hopes of rescuing more faded on Sunday.

Relatives of those missing milled at the site with hopes of seeing them even as police and the Red Cross officials set up a tent near there to account for the victims.

Eastern PPO Mercus Ochola and his Nairobi counterpart Anthony Kibuchi said they would question the owner of the building as part of their investigations into the incident.

A resident said the building appeared to have been constructed on a swampy area and its foundation could not hold the other three-storeys.

The building is among several others that had been sited to be illegally constructed in the area and had been marked for demolition but locals said politicians derailed the plans.

The collapse came a day after another building went down along Mombasa Road near General Motors area injuring more than 10 construction workers. Officials blame authorities charged with approval and monitoring for the collapse.

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