By Humphrey Malalo and Ben Makori
Kenyan rescue workers pulled a woman alive from the rubble of a building six days after it collapsed in Nairobi, witnesses told Reuters on Thursday
The woman, who had been receiving oxygen and was connected to an intravenous drip by doctors, had survived in a pocket of broken masonry since the building crumbled on Friday night.
“She cannot move but she is safe,” Pius Masai, an official leading the operation, told reporters before she was rescued. He said she had spoken to doctors on site.
Rescue workers were working with their hands and power tools to reach her.
The death toll from the collapse of the building has reached 36, Masai said. Including the woman now being dug out, workers have rescued a total of 137 people.
Dozens are still listed as missing. But Kenya Red Cross officials have said it was not clear if those listed were caught in the collapse or had escaped but had not been traced.
Earlier this week they had said there was little chance of finding any more survivors, although a baby was pulled out of the wreckage on Tuesday, dehydrated but with no sign of other injuries. The baby was reunited with her father, but Masai said the baby’s mother was confirmed among those killed.
The building in Nairobi’s Huruma district collapsed after days of heavy rain. The Interior Ministry said the building had been built close to a river and earmarked for demolition, but the local authorities had not acted on the order.
The building’s collapse was the latest such disaster in a rapidly-expanding African city that is struggling to build homes fast enough. Several other buildings in Nairobi have crumbled in recent years, but without such a high death toll.