NAIROBI: A woman was pulled alive Thursday from the rubble of a building that collapsed when heavy rains hit Kenya’s capital Nairobi six days ago.
The woman was pulled out hours after being located on Thursday morning by rescuers who gave her oxygen while they continued efforts to extract her from the ruins of the six-storey building.
Officials have so far confirmed a death toll of 33 but at least 80 more people are believed to be missing. A total of 137 people have now been rescued.
Pius Masai of Kenya’s National Disaster Operation Centre said the woman was conscious and talking when she was found.
He had been confident more people could be rescued after several live rabbits were found in the rubble on Wednesday, he added.
“I told you the day we got nine rabbits alive from this place I was sure we will get more people alive,” Masai said as the woman was driven away in an ambulance.
“I am glad we got her out safely and that is our determination, to pull out as many people as possible who are still trapped under the rubble.”
On Monday a seven-month-old baby girl was found alive more than 80 hours after the building collapsed on Friday night. Her father called the rescue a miracle, but tragedy followed when the girl’s mother was found dead late Wednesday.
Two brothers who own the Nairobi building have been released on bail while investigators gather evidence against them ahead of an expected prosecution.
Located in the poor, tightly-packed Huruma neighbourhood, the building, which housed around 150 families crammed into single rooms, had been slated for demolition after being declared structurally unsound.
Several buildings have collapsed in recent years in Nairobi and other Kenyan cities, where a property boom has seen buildings shoot up at speed, often with scant regard for regulations.
On Thursday Nairobi officials began demolishing other buildings deemed illegal or unsafe.