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Six days on, survivors are found in collapsed Kenya building

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Six days on, survivors are found in collapsed Kenya building

  • Man and two women rescued
  • Fourth woman survived in a cavity
  • Around 140 now saved
  • Police say 39 dead

Rescuers in Kenya pulled four more survivors from the rubble on Thursday, nearly a week after a six-storey building collapsed in Nairobi.

The first to be pulled alive was a woman who was eight months pregnant. Search teams used power tools and their bare hands to pull her out of the cavity that had protected her from the debris.

There were cheers from the crowd gathered near the apartment block in the Huruma disctrict of the Kenyan capital.

Found under slabs of concrete, Elizabeth Night Odhiambo, 24, was rushed to hospital. Tragically her unborn baby did not survive, leaving her husband feeling heartbreak but also relief at his wife’s miracle rescue.

“My wife is not in a bad state,” said Stephen Onyano.

“She is okay because when I walked in, the doctors asked her if she could recognise me and she told them that I was her husband and that she knew me.”

Later on Thursday, Kenya’s Red Cross announced the rescue of three other people.

Already on Tuesday a baby was found alive and the discovery of live rabbits in the wreckage also gave search teams hope.

Police said it was “a sign of life being in that building” and “means there is a circulation of oxygen”.

Police now say 39 people are confirmed dead with dozens more missing. Kenyan Red Cross officials say it is not clear whether those listed were caught in the collapse or escaped but have not been traced.

About 140 people have been rescued, based on the four freed on Thursday.

Investigations meanwhile are continuing into the residential building itself amid claims that it had been earmarked for demolition and did not have an occupancy permit.

Two owners of the building and three local officials have been questioned by police and were released on bail on Wednesday.

The disaster was the latest of its kind in a rapidly-expanding city. Several other buildings in Nairobi have collapsed in recent years, with fewer deaths.

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