'Shoddy' building construction possible cause of Kenyan school collapse that killed seven children
Seven children have been killed and 64 injured when a classroom collapsed as students were starting their morning lessons at a school in Kenya’s capital on Monday, officials said.
- More than 800 children are enrolled at the school
- 64 children were taken to hospital for treatment, with two having serious injuries
- There are thousands on unapproved buildings in Nairobi at risk of collapse
Television stations showed images of rescue workers sifting through metal sheeting and slabs of concrete at the Precious Talent Top School in Nairobi and carrying white body bags to an ambulance.
“We have regrettably lost seven lives to this morning’s incident that occurred around 8am, as the learners of Class Five to Eight were starting their morning lessons,” Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha said at the scene of the tragedy.
In Kenya’s school system, classes five to eight usually covers children aged from 10 to 14 years. Officials said that more than 800 students are enrolled at the school.
A woman is comforted after a school collapsed in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, leaving many dead and injured. (AP: John Muchucha)
He added that 64 children had been taken to hospital for treatment, with two of them having serious injuries.
“We are happy to say that, so far, most of them are stable”, said Evanson Kamuri, acting CEO of Nearby Kenyatta National Hospital, said the most of the children were in a table condition.
“Most of them we have done CT scans, we have done X-rays and they have been examined by our doctors.”
Ten-year-old student Tracy Oduor said that her class was reading when the building came down.
“We were in class and we were reading and we heard pupils and teachers screaming and the class started collapsing,” she said.
“And then a stone came and hit me on the mouth and then we got out of the class and then we were saved. When we got out of the gate we heard that pupils were dead,”
The first floor of the building collapsed, trapping the children below, local lawmaker John Kiarie told NTV Kenya earlier.
People look on after the Precious Talent Top School building collapsed in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. (AP: Khalil Senosi)
Mr Magoha said more than 600 children from the school underwent check-ups at a nearby health centre, and also ordered the school closed for four days for safety checks.
The cause was not immediately known, but authorities have previously warned 30,000 to 40,000 buildings erected without approval in Nairobi are at risk of collapse.
The school had been constructed with corrugated metal and wood.
Three years, ago a six-storey residential block collapsed in Nairobi, killing 51 people following heavy rain.
There was no immediate comment from school officials.