The Reuters news agency are reporting that a seven-storey building has collapsed in a ‘residential area’ of ‘Eastern Nairobi’ (described as an ‘informal settlement’ by the BBC).
The St John Ambulance have said that 15 people are missing in the rebuilding located in the Kware Pipeline estate, Embakasi.
It is reported that residents informed the police on Monday evening that they feared the high-rise building, which was built in 2007, was about to collapse and it was evacuated but some residents then returned to their homes to collect belongings.
The building had shown signs of imminent collapse up to three days before. It was evacuated at about 6pm yesterday evening and came down at about 10pm.
Police are apparently searching for the building’s owner named only as ‘Karaja’.
Illegally built building was not up to code
It appears almost certain that the building was illegally erected. Chris Khaemba from the Nairobi Land Executive was quoted as saying: “No developments are allowed there, but you find most of these developers are bought by politicians”.
Building collapses have been depressingly common in recent times. In the last year alone there have been at least four major collapses in Kenya’s capital.
In May 2016 over 50 people died in the Huruma district of Nairobi when a yet again a residential building collapsed.
Although regulations exist to ensure that proper building standards are maintained in reality the enforcement of the law is often lax and those breaking the law are rarely punished.