Yesternight at around 1930 hours, a 3 Storey flat collapsed in Kericho town trapping an unknown number of people inside, Kenya Redcross confirmed the incident.
The three-storey residential building that housed six families, started showing cracks on Sunday before slowly sinking and eventually collapsing on Tuesday night at 7:30 pm.
The Kenya Redcross team was on-site throughout the night trying to rescue trapped tenants who were heard crying for the help.
After six hours of search and rescue mission, going through tones of rubbles, the local emergency team led by Kericho County Police Commander Silas Gichunge and Kenya Red Cross Society coordinator Sifia Tuwei retrieved the body in the wee hours of Wednesday morning.
The retrieval of the body was a blow to the child’s mother and other family members who held a vigil at the site praying against the odds that the boy would be found alive.
“It’s unfortunate that by the time rescuers managed to get to the boy, he had succumbed to the injuries after the walls of the house he was living in collapsed on him,” said Gichunge.
Tuwei said the deceased’s mother, brother and a housemaid were accounted for. The family lived on the third floor of the ill-fated building.
“The heads of the five other households accounted for all the family members. We are not however certain whether there were other people in the building,” said the Red Cross official.
Gichunge added that the building’s caretaker could not be traced. The individual was not living in the ill-fated building but in an adjacent wing and the police suspect that he fled the scene upon the collapse of the building.
Tebs View Court owner, Charles Chaglano, a prominent Kericho contractor and a local vernacular radio station owner made a brief appearance at the site at night before melting into the crowd.
“Huge cracks began developing on the building a few days ago but he came around to inspect it on Monday. The knocking around of construction workers he brought in an attempt to reinforce the building ended up making the racks to develop further until it collapsed last night,” she said.
Police and Red Cross personnel are still on sight. Kenyan Bulletin correspondents are also on the ground and will be updating our readers as soon as we receive latest details about the horrific incident.
Last year, the building in Kingston area Huruma Estate collapsed around 2am. Three people had been confirmed dead and three hospitalised in critical condition.
Among those who died was an expectant woman. The second person died while being taken to hospital.
The body of the third victim, a man, was retrieved from the rubble hours later. Rescuers had to untangle it from a mosquito net and bed. One person fled from the building when it started collapsing. Seven people were killed when a six-storey building collapsed in Huruma in April 2016.