Kenya: woman rescued after 6 days in collapsed building

A Kenyan woman was rescued Thursday after being trapped for six days in the rubble of a collapsed building.

A crowd applauded in celebration as the woman was carried away on a stretcher covered by a blanket and with an oxygen tank by her side to a Kenya Red Cross ambulance. The rescue was broadcast live on Kenyan television.


Before military engineers managed to break through the slabs of concrete that had trapped her medics had managed to give the woman oxygen and intravenously administer water and glucose, Kenya’s Disaster Management Unit said. “This is a miracle,” said Pius Masai, the head of the unit.

The woman was given oxygen while was trapped in small corner of her room, said Abbas Gullet, head of the Kenya Red Cross.

“We are very happy that even after six days someone has been found alive,” Gullet said.

The death toll from the disaster has risen to 36 and 70 people remain missing, he said.

A nearly six-month-old baby was rescued on Tuesday, which raised hopes that more survivors would be found. The infant was found unharmed in a washbasin four days after the building collapsed on Friday.

With housing in high demand in Nairobi, some unscrupulous developers bypass regulations to cut costs and maximize profits.

The two owners of the collapsed building were released on $5,000 bail on Wednesday as they await formal charges from police.

After eight buildings collapsed and killed 15 people, President Uhuru Kenyatta last year ordered an audit of all the country’s buildings to see if they are up to code. The National Construction Authority found that 58 percent of buildings in Nairobi are unfit for habitation. Most of Nairobi’s 4 million people live in low-income areas or slums.