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At least three killed after residential building collapses in Kenya

Scores of people clustered around, held back by a cordon, waiting to find news of their family and friends as police and a mechanical digger worked through the wreckage.

Rescue workers attend to the scene of a six-storey building that collapsed in Nairobi, on 6 December 2019. Picture: AFP

NAIROBI - At least three people were killed and 27 injured on Friday when a residential building collapsed in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, police said, as rescue workers struggled to free a woman who was screaming from under the rubble.

Scores of people clustered around, held back by a cordon, waiting to find news of their family and friends as police and a mechanical digger worked through the wreckage.

The Kenya Red Cross said 11 people had been rescued by late afternoon, about five hours after the six-storey building collapsed. It was not immediately clear how many people had been inside.

“Three people have died, and 27 others have been rushed to the hospital. One was seriously injured,” Reuben Ndolo, the Nairobi regional police commander, told Reuters.

The East African nation has seen similar tragedies in the past. Forty-nine people died in 2016 when another building collapsed during a heavy night-time downpour in a poor neighbourhood.

The latest incident happened in the overcrowded Eastlands part of the city, near the scene where a seven-storey building also collapsed in 2017.

In 2017, the then governor of Nairobi Evans Kidero said there were 30,000 to 40,000 buildings at risk in the city as they had been built without approval.