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Nairobi six-story building collapses

A six-story building has collapsed in a residential area of the Kenyan capital Nairobi, leaving at least seven people dead and dozens injured. The incident follows days of heavy rain and floods in the area.

The building in the densely-populated Huruma neighborhood of Nairobi collapsed at around 9 p.m. local time (1800 UTC) on Friday.

Police confirmed that seven people were killed in the disaster and at least 121 others were injured.

Kenya's Red Cross said dozens of people, including three children, were pulled alive from the rubble overnight. It added that the collapse had affected about 150 households.

Footage broadcast on local media showed soldiers, policemen and civilians searching through the ruins for survivors.

Investigation underway

Nairobi deputy Governor Jonathan Mueke, who visited the scene on Saturday morning, said an investigation would look into why the building collapsed.

"The building went down during the heavy rains, but we still want to establish if all the procedures were followed when it was constructed," he said.

Nairobi's police chief, Japheth Koome, said rescue teams were initially delayed in reaching the scene due to huge traffic jams caused by flooded roads. Kenyan Red Cross spokeswoman Arnolda Shiundu said teams eventually reached the site, however, describing the situation as "complete chaos."

"We don't know how many people are under the rubble, but we fear there are still several of them," she said.

Due to the high demand for housing in Nairobi, some of the city's property developers have been known to bypass building regulations to cut costs and maximize profits. The Architectural Society of Kenya estimates that 50 percent of Nairobi's structures fail to meet the required building standards.

Following the collapse of eight buildings in Kenya last year, which killed at least 15 people, President Uhuru Kenyatta called for a nationwide audit of all buildings. The report by the National Construction Authority found that 58 percent of the capital's structures were unfit to live in.

ksb/gsw (Reuters, AP)

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