Kenya collapsed building owner charged

Kenyan police officers and Kenyan National Youth Servicemen work at the site of a building collapse in Nairobi, Kenya, Saturday, April 30, 2016Image copyright

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Residents say the building shook violently in the rain before collapsing

The owner of a building which collapsed in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, in April has been charged with 52 counts of manslaughter.

Samuel Karanja Kamau denied the charges at Nairobi’s High Court and is due to appear at a bail hearing on Wednesday.

A total of 52 people died when the six-storey building came down in heavy rain in the city’s poor Huruma district.

The government said 100 rooms had been rented out, even though the building had been declared unfit to live in.

Mr Kamau has not yet commented on the allegation.

Three officials from Nairobi City County and the National Construction Authority (NCA) were taken into police custody after the collapse.

However, it is unclear whether they have been charged.

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Officials say the the building was unfit for habitation

The six-storey building collapsed on 29 April, at the height of Kenya’s rainy season.

A local MP said it was built less than 5m (15 feet) from a river, when it should have been at least 30m away.

The NCA said it had marked the building as unfit for habitation, but that the local government had failed to follow up.

Many of Nairobi’s four million people live in low-income areas or slums.

Housing is in high demand, and unscrupulous developers often bypass regulations.

Miracle rescues

  • 2004 Iran earthquake – Woman in her 90s found alive and unscathed eight days after a huge earthquake destroyed the city of Bam
  • 2005 South Asian earthquake – Shameer Shah Jehan, aged five, rescued from collapsed school in Balakot, Pakistan, after three days. Extraordinarily, a 40-year-old woman was saved from what had been her kitchen in Pakistani-administered Kashmir, more than two months after the quake
  • 2010 Haiti earthquake – 24-year-old man pulled alive from the rubble of a ruined hotel in Port-au-Prince after 11 days. Another man was rescued a day later from under a shop
  • May 2013 Bangladesh building collapse – Woman pulled from the ruins of a factory, 17 days after it collapsed
  • 2015 Nepal earthquake15-year-old boy pulled out five days after an earthquake devastated the capital Kathmandu and the surrounding area

How long can survivors last under rubble?

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