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Search for survivors after Kenya building collapse

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Rescue teams were Saturday searching for survivors after a seven-storey building collapsed in the Kenyan capital Nairobi due to flooding, the Red Cross said, with 45 people already pulled alive from the rubble.

[NAIROBI] Rescue teams were Saturday searching for survivors after a seven-storey building collapsed in the Kenyan capital Nairobi due to flooding, the Red Cross said, with 45 people already pulled alive from the rubble.

Another survivor was pulled from the huge pile of rubble shortly after dawn, Kenya Red Cross said, some 10 hours after the building collapsed Friday night and as skies cleared after a night of near constant torrential rain.

A spokeswoman for the Kenya Red Cross could not confirm local media reports that at least three people were killed.

"It is too early to speak about dead people, we don't have that information," Arnolda Shiundu told AFP.

"We don't know how many people are under the rubble, but we fear there are still several of them," she said.

"We are still searching. A crane has arrived, ambulances are here."

The seven-storey building in the densely-populated Huruma neighbourhood collapsed at around 9:30 pm (1830 GMT) Friday following the heaviest downpours since the start of the rainy season, Ms Shiundu said.

They have caused flooding and landslides in many areas of the city.

"Our teams are on the site, where it is complete chaos," Ms Shiundu said.

The Red Cross spokeswoman had earlier mentioned at least 15 injured.

Pictures broadcast by local media showed soldiers, policemen and civilians searching through the rubble of the collapsed buildings for survivors.

Earlier Friday, a wall around a property collapsed due to flooding in another part of the city, killing at least three people, according to local media.

Nairobi has been in the middle of a building boom for some years but the quality of materials used and speed of construction have sometimes been called into question.

The growing middle class has triggered an explosion in demand for housing and a rise in real estate prices in the east African capital.

AFP