Tue, Jan 24, 2006 - Page 1 News List

Building in Nairobi collapses with 280 people inside


A five-story building collapsed in central Nairobi yesterday while more than 280 construction workers were inside, killing at least eight people, witnesses and workers said.

More than 50 seriously injured people were rushed to hospitals, medics said.

Dozens of rescuers dug into the rubble with their bare hands while the injured were loaded into any available car to be taken to area hospitals. Eight dead bodies were visible at the scene. A hand could be seen waving for help from under a concrete beam.

Tens of thousands of people ran to the site, clogging the roads and climbing on top of the rubble. Riot police deployed to the area used truncheons to beat back the crowds and clear roads for emergency vehicles.

Police appealed for anyone with emergency training to come to the scene. Kenyatta General Hospital issued an appeal for Nairobi residents to donate blood for the victims of the collapse.

One construction worker nearby said an inspector had warned last week that the structure was not safe and they were trying to stabilize the building.

"We saw the building sink slowly and then sway from side to side. As we saw this, we fled the area. We never got that far -- it collapsed," he said.

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