Several rescued after six days in collapsed Nairobi building | News | DW | 05.05.2016
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Several rescued after six days in collapsed Nairobi building

Rescuers in the Kenyan capital have freed four people who survived nearly a week trapped under the rubble of a collapsed building. More than 30 people have died in the collapse, highlighting doubtful building practices.

Rescue workers in Nairobi pulled a total of four people - two women and two men - from the rubble of an apartment block on Thursday, six days after it had collapsed.

Earlier in the day, emergency crews were finally able to rescue one of the women after working for hours to free her with power tools, according to news agencies.

A medical team had provided the woman with an intravenous drip of glucose, and rescuers had been able to speak with her through a gap in the debris.

"The medical team has administered an IV; glucose has been administered," said Pius Masai, the head of the National Disaster Management Unit.

"She is talking and in good spirits ... we are taking our time to ensure she is removed safely," he added before the successful rescue.

A nearly six-month-old baby was rescued unharmed on Tuesday, raising hopes that more survivors could be found. Rescuers have so far rescued a total of 137 people, including the woman freed on Thursday.

Official put the death toll from the disaster variously at 35 or 36, and 70 people are still missing, according to the Kenya Red Cross.

Unscrupulous methods

The building in Nairobi's Huruma district collapsed on Friday night after days of heavy rain. The Interior Ministry said that although the building had been earmarked for demolition, local authorities had failed to act on the order.

The National Construction Authority found in an audit last year that more than half of the buildings in Nairobi were unfit for habitation. The recent collapse is only the latest in several such disasters over the past years.

The city is struggling to keep up with demands for housing, and some unscrupulous developers are taking advantage of the haste to save money and maximize profits by bypassing regulations.

rs,tj/sms (Reuters, AP)

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