Eight killed in building collapse

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The Independent Online

An unfinished six-storey building in Nairobi's red light district collapsed yesterday, killing at least eight people and injuring 200.

Nearby shop workers rushed to dig out those trapped in the rubble before the emergency services arrived 20 minutes later. Rescue workers said they could hear the screams of people trapped. Firemen used hoses to deliver water to survivors trapped beneath slabs of concrete.

The emergency services provided some earth movers, but police said more equipment was needed. As night fell, floodlights were set up to allow rescue efforts to continue. In what appeared to be a freak accident, a bus lost control and crashed into rescue workers, injuring two.

The collapse highlights Kenya's poor record in building safety standards - contractors frequently swap materials for cheaper substitutes and cut corners. It was the worst building collapse in Nairobi since a balcony above a supermarket fell and killed at least 14 people in 1996.