20 Oct 2009

Many feared trapped beneath collapsed building

1:37 pm on 20 October 2009

Dozens of people are feared to be trapped after a five-storey building collapsed on the outskirts of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. At least one person is dead.

The BBC reports the building was under construction and a rescue effort is underway.

Red Cross officials said 15 severely ill people had been pulled from the rubble and taken to hospital.

It is not clear what caused the collapse, but correspondents say Kenyan building companies are often criticised for flouting safety regulations.

There have been suggestions that heavy rain in the area recently could have weakened the structure.

The rescue operation continued late into the night, as officials said an unknown number of people could still be inside the building.

The BBC reports the incident was not the first of its kind in recent years.

Nairobi is currently experiencing a construction boom and companies are often criticised for cutting corners and failing to enforce strict safety measures as profitable high rises spring up over the city.