A six-story building under construction in Kenya’s capital collapsed on Tuesday, killing at least two people and leaving 14 missing, officials said. An architect said the building was being constructed illegally because it wasn’t up to standard.
The Red Cross dispatched people to the scene. Spokeswoman Nelly Muluka said two people were killed and six wounded after the building on a main Nairobi highway collapsed.
Fred Majiwa, a spokesman for St. John’s Ambulance Service, said 14 people were unaccounted for and that officials could hear the voices of people trapped under the rubble. A crane was later brought in to help in the rescue effort.
The collapsed building is on Nairobi’s outskirts, near its international airport.
Musembi Mumo, an official with the Architectural Association of Kenya, toured the site of the collapsed building and said it was being constructed illegally because it didn’t follow standards.
“It was an illegal structure in the sense that I doubt there was any consultant involved,” he said. “There is no sign board to show that there is an architect or engineer involved. Secondly they were building six floors when it is legal to build up to four. Then the quality of workmanship is extremely poor.”
Because of high demand for housing in Nairobi, some property developers often bypass building regulations to cut costs and maximize profits, especially when the building is in a low-market area, Mumo said. He estimated that 50 percent of structures in Nairobi are not up to code.