As the death toll from Nairobi’s Huruma building collapse rises to more than 51, a six-storey extension to a Mombasa shopping centre has also recently collapsed.
The section covering five floors of Mombasa’s Nyali Centre collapsed on Monday morning as a result of shoddy construction, residents say. No injuries were recorded but police sealed off the area amid an evacuation exercise.
County Urban planning executive Francis Thoya said sections of the premises, including Java House, the Boxing Lounge and several banks, were shut from the public. Francis added that officials will make no suggestions until they are done investigating the recent collapse at the Mombasa Shopping Centre. He however revealed that the authorities were searching for the engineers and contractors who did a “poor job.”
Kenya’s Red Cross has tweeted the details:
Pictures of the collapsed building in Nyali, Mombasa. The collapse took place at around 2:40 a.m. No injuries so far pic.twitter.com/DhA8l5HPO6
— Kenya Red Cross (@KenyaRedCross) May 9, 2016
While the reason for these buildings collapsing are yet unclear, a civil engineer who has studied collapsing buildings hinted a few common reasons, one reason being that cheaper concrete appropriate for a one-storey structure is used on much heavier buildings.
On April 29 a Hurum building collapsed after a heavy rainfall in Nairobi, leaving at least 51 dead and 19 missing. The number grew after two people who were rescued alive died on Sunday while receiving treatment at Kenyatta National Hospital.
So far 13 bodies have been identified at the City Mortuary, more than a week after the horrific incident. Over hundred people were rescued and taken to hospital with only five people rescued alive last week.
Among the five was a seven month old baby, who was rescued after being under the rubble for 72 hours.
The rescuers have stated that the rescue operation had come to an end, though the site is still sealed off. It is perceived that some remaining missing victims might have drowned in Nairobi river, while trying to flee from the disaster.
Preliminary investigations indicate that the building with 198 rooms was constructed on a weak foundation. Five suspects linked to the building appeared in court last Wednesday and were released on bail of Sh1 million bond each.
Brothers Samuel Kamau and Henry Muiruri, Crispus Ndinyo, Justus Kathenge and Seline Ogallo were not charged.