A five-storey residential building under construction collapsed in Kinoo, Kiambu County. According to the residents, trouble started when the caretaker noticed cracks and alerted the owner. Fortunately no one was injured and tenants in nearby houses vacated
“We are all in panic as we don’t know what will happen next. As much as we need to get our belongings from the house, it is risky as the building might fall anytime,” said one of the tenants.
Masons at the site said they had noticed structural problems and informed the owner but no action was taken. They said they noticed a crack on one of the columns, prompting them to stop construction. The building tilted towards one side before it crumbled.
George Omlati, a mason, said, “After doing plaster work, we told him that the building had slanted towards one side but he told us we are fundis and we should do our work. It was not until piping at the corner burst that he told us to halt construction.”
Area MCA Samuel Kimani said the owner had been given notice, prohibiting him from adding another floor to the building. He was to stick to the original master plan he had presented to the county government. However, he went ahead and added more floors off plan.
The legislator said the owner should be held accountable for the disaster, noting that the county government approved the plan with fewer floors. Officials from the National Construction Authority said the structure will have to be brought down and announced investigations will commence immediately to establish if the law was followed during the construction.
Last week, nine people were killed in Hurlingham, Nairobi, when a crane they were handling crumbled from a 14-floor proposed student accommodation. Days later, three other construction workers were killed when a house they were constructing collapsed in Gachie area, Kiambu County. More than 10 others were injured in the incident.