Police have apprehended the owner of the Huruma building, which recently crumpled in Nairobi. Samuel Kamau turned himself in, to Pangani Police Station where he was interrogated. Police said they are also searching for the architect and structural engineers who worked on the building during the construction process.
Police further disclosed that they had reached many of them and that they had agreed to report to the appropriate stations on Monday. Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet told them to report to the police station nearest to their locations for questioning. So far, 20 people have been confirmed dead and 73 still missing while rescuers are working tooth and nail to save more lives after the building collapsed.
The rescue team said it pulled out about 135 people who are allegedly receiving treatment for the injuries they had sustained from the incident. Many leaders and neighbours of the collapsed building blame corruption and the use of substandard materials as the cause of the incident that saw a six-storey building fall on Friday, April 29, after a heavy rainfall. Officials said the Huruma building did not have an occupancy permit as they ordered its owner to turn himself in.
Details about the residential building emerged a day after its collapse on Friday, after which crowds of onlookers rounded it, trying to help pry victims from the rubble.
The casualty figure from the accident is still rising. The Red Cross, National Youth Service and other rescuers are still at the scene in order to get more people out of the rubble.
A man narrated his ordeal that resulted from a mistake during the incident. According to the the 29 year old man who identified himself as Onyango, his two-year-old son, Desmond has passed on while his daughter Blessing Atieno, four, and his 13-year-old niece Caroline Auma are still missing after the building fell in Huruma.
He revealed that he had arrived to his house when the house was tilted, with neighbours making haste to run to safety. He recalled that his children and wife were at the second floor units oblivious of what was going on. On seeing neighbours dash in and out to remove household item, he ran into his house and started moving out some of his belongings without coughing a word to his family, to avoid panic.
Before he could come, the house had already collapsed with his family beneath the rubble. Narrating the incident, the man, who indentified himself as an electrical mechanic at Lang’ata said he regrets not saving his family first or even alerting his wife to help out. The man only saved his new cabinet. His wife Millicent Anyango however was rescued from the remains of the building with a broken left leg. She is currently recuperating at his brother’s house in Rongai. Desmond Omondi, his son, was found dead while his other two children are yet to be found.
The mechanic also blamed the flood, stating that he was delayed by the heavy rain and flood after he had to walk some long distance to get home.
Onyango also said he already made plans before the accident to relocate into a vacant house in the building’s adjacent block. Another resident said his wife and two children are yet to be uncovered. While he hopes they will miraculously come out alive, the man fear he might never get to see again.