17 January 2013

Kenya: Seven Dead in Kisumu Building Collapse

Nairobi — The death toll in Kisumu following the collapse of a building under construction on Wednesday night evening has now reached seven.

Two of the victims were killed on the spot while the other five died while undergoing treatment at local hospitals.

A taxi driver who was near the building but escaped unscathed recounted the events leading to the collapse.

"This incident found me when I was near the building. I was talking to the watchman there when we had a loud bang. We thought it was a bomb. When I looked out, I saw that it was the building which had collapsed," he said.

Western Kenya Red Cross coordinator Emmanuel Owako said they were able to communicate to the foreman who was among people trapped under the rubble using his mobile phone.

"We have had 35 who were rushed to hospital. Nine of them were admitted to the Kisumu District hospital while the rest were taken to the Russia Provincial hospital," he stated.

Our correspondent in the lakeside town says rescue efforts are set to resume on Thursday to save lives of those who are still trapped.

The building came crumbling down at about 5.30pm Wednesday when the builders were doing the last touches before they wind up the day's work.

Eye witnesses reported hearing a loud bang followed by screams then heavy dust engulfed the whole place making it difficult for members of the public to rush to their rescue.

The building located next to Imperial Hotel on the busy Jomo Kenyatta highway brought traffic to a halt as the public made frantic efforts to access the accident scene.

Passersby were the first casualties as they were hit by flying debris as vehicles were also destroyed during the incident that attracted a mammoth of crowd.

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