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Death toll in collapsed Kisumu building rises to 9

17 January 2013, 11:06 Oduor Omondi

The death toll from the collapsed five storey building in Kisumu has risen to 9 as rescue team cut into concrete slabs and iron rods using sledgehammers and metal-cutters to find victims.

The building adjacent to Imperial Hotel tumbled down yesterday at 5Pm when workers were preparing to call it a day.

Most of the victims were day laborers and no one has been able to provide authorities with a detailed list of who was at the site when the incident occured.

The number of those who fled before the building collapsed is not yet known.

The construction manager is said to have run away immediately the incident occurred.

Efforts to reach him have remained futile as his phone has been off since Wednesday.

One construction worker who had gone to a shop near the construction site at the time of the incident said that last week they had raised concerns over the building but the construction manager dismissed them saying everything was fine.

Scores of people are still feared trapped inside the debris even as rescue efforts led by the Kenya Red Cross, St John’s Ambulance, fire fighters and police continued overnight.

However, the rescue mission has been majorly hampered by a crowd of people that has thronged the area since the time of the collapse.

Politicians vying for various posts made things even worse as they effortlessly tried to outdo each other by jamming the scene to show their sympathy.

Efforts by Nyanza PC Francis Mutie and Kisumu OCPD Musa Kongoli to drive the politicians and the crowd away did not bear any fruit.

Several survivors were rushed to the Kisumu East District Hospital and the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital and are still undergoing treatment.

PC  Mutie said detectives have opened a criminal investigation into the collapse case.

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