Rescue operation under way in Kenya after building collapse


NEROBI:      At least four people were dead and 29 injured after a six-story residential building collapsed in the Kenyan capital after weeks of heavy rains, a government official said.
Rescuers were still searching for survivors as the night wore on, said the official, Wilson Njenga, the Nairobi regional commissioner.
It wasn?t immediately clear what caused the collapse of the building. Kenya has been the site of several disastrous building collapses in recent years, leading commentators toáblameáthe government for failing to enforce regulations and conduct inspections.
But heavy downpours might also have played a role in the collapse on Friday. The annual ôshort rainsö in Kenya which usually last from October to December, have been exceptionally heavy this year.
Kimani called the collapseáa “desperate situation,” adding that recent heavy rain had made theárescue effort more difficult because it had stretched resources and made the site less accessible.
Kimaniáalso said thatámany people from the area had headed to the site to try and “catch a glimpse of what is happening” and this was also obstructing the rescue effort.
It was not immediately clear what caused the accident, butábuilding collapses are common in Nairobi, where housing is in high demand and regulations are not enforced.
A recent survey conducted by Kenya’s National Construction Authority found that 58% of the city’s buildings wereáunfit for habitation.