Two dead after building collapse in Kenya

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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Two people in Kenya died earlier today after a five-storeyed building under construction in the town of Kiambu collapsed. Four others were said to have been injured.

The incident occurred in the middle of the night, at 02:30 local time (23:30 UTC), on Sunday morning. The building was only a few metres from another building that collapsed in October of last year, killing thirty people.

The building is reported to have been condemned last year, when the authorities deemed it substandard. Preparations to demolish the building started yesterday, in accordance with a court order that required the building to be destroyed within thirty days.

One of the casualties from the accident was Maina Irungu, aged seventeen; the other hasn't been identified. People wounded by the collapse were taken to the Kiambu District Hospital. The victims were all people who lived in houses near the collapsed building. Rescue operations are still ongoing, being conducted by the Red Cross, police, and military. Officials also ordered evacuation of two buildings in the vicinity when cracks were spotted on them, according to Capital FM Kenya.

This story in itself is reflective of a major infrastructure problem in Kenya, according to the BBC, China says it will give a US$7 million (£4.4m, 4.9m) grant to help fund infrastructure development projects in Kenya.