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Sunday 4 December 2016

Miraculous rescue of woman found alive in rubble six days after Nairobi building collapse

Published 05/05/2016 | 11:34

A woman is carried away in a stretcher as she is rescued after being trapped for six days in the rubble of a collapsed building (AP)
A woman is carried away in a stretcher as she is rescued after being trapped for six days in the rubble of a collapsed building (AP)

Rescue workers were racing on Thursday to dig out a woman found alive under the rubble of a building in Kenya's capital six days after it collapsed, a senior official at the site said.

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The woman, who was receiving oxygen and had been connected to an intravenous drip by doctors, had survived in a pocket of broken masonry since the building crumbled on Friday night.

Rescue workers search for residents feared trapped in the rubble of a six-storey building that collapsed after days of heavy rain in Nairobi, Kenya REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya
Rescue workers search for residents feared trapped in the rubble of a six-storey building that collapsed after days of heavy rain in Nairobi, Kenya REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya
Rescuers work at the site of a building collapse in Nairobi, Kenya (AP)
People carry their belongings as they leave the Huruma neighbourhood during the search for residents feared trapped in the rubble of a six-storey building that collapsed after days of heavy rain, in Nairobi, Kenya May 1, 2016

"She cannot move but she is safe," Pius Masai, an official leading the operation, told reporters after the woman was located. He said she had spoken to doctors on site.

Rescue workers were working with their hands and power tools to reach her.

The death toll from the collapse of the building has reached 36, Masai said. Including the woman now being dug out, workers have rescued a total of 137 people.

Dozens are still listed as missing. But Kenya Red Cross officials have said it was not clear if those listed were caught in the collapse or had escaped but had not been traced.

People carry a sofa as they leave the Huruma neighbourhood during the search for residents feared trapped in the rubble of a six-storey building that collapsed after days of heavy rain, in Nairobi, Kenya May 1, 2016
People carry a sofa as they leave the Huruma neighbourhood during the search for residents feared trapped in the rubble of a six-storey building that collapsed after days of heavy rain, in Nairobi, Kenya May 1, 2016
Rescue workers searching for residents feared trapped in the rubble of a six-storey building that collapsed after days of heavy rain in Nairobi. Photo: Reuters
Police officers stand guard at the site of a building collapse in Nairobi

Earlier this week they had said there was little chance of finding any more survivors, although a baby was pulled out of the wreckage on Tuesday, dehydrated but with no sign of other injuries. The baby was reunited with her father, but Masai said the baby's mother was confirmed among those killed.

The building in Nairobi's Huruma district collapsed after days of heavy rain. The Interior Ministry said the building had been built close to a river and earmarked for demolition, but the local authorities had not acted on the order.

The building's collapse was the latest such disaster in a rapidly-expanding African city that is struggling to build homes fast enough. Several other buildings in Nairobi have crumbled in recent years, but without such a high death toll.

Press Association

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