4 missing in building collapse near Kenya capital

March 17, 2018 GMT

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — At least four people are feared trapped in rubble after a four-story building collapsed in the city’s outskirts, a Kenya police official said Saturday.

Joseph Gichangi, the police chief of the Ruai area, said a watchman who left the building, a guest house, shortly before it collapsed reported four guests inside.

Kenya’s military was leading rescue operations.

Building collapses have become common in Nairobi, where 4 million people live in low-income areas or slums. Housing is in high demand and unscrupulous developers often bypass regulations.

After eight buildings collapsed and killed 15 people in Kenya in 2015, President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered an audit of all the country’s buildings to see if they were up to standard. The National Construction Authority found 58 percent of buildings in Nairobi were unfit for habitation.

In 2016, a building collapse in another low-income area killed 37 people and injured 70. The rescue mission took days, and a baby and a pregnant woman were among those pulled to safety.