Africa

Eight killed by crane collapse in Nairobi

Eight people, including two Chinese, were killed and two others injured Thursday after a crane collapsed at a construction site in Kenya’s capital Nairobi, police said.

The crane came crashing down while a team of 10 workers was attempting to dismantle it, eyewitnesses said.

“We have lost eight people,” said Andrew Mbogo, police chief of Kilimani neighbourhood, where the accident occurred.

“They include two Chinese and six Kenyans,” he told reporters.

The project to build a 14-storey student hostel was being supervised by a Chinese construction firm called ZJCC. None of its representatives was willing to comment on the accident.

The cause of the collapse was not immediately clear but eyewitnesses said they heard people screaming as the crane slammed into the ground.

“We were having lunch when we heard things falling and thought part of the building was coming down,” construction worker Michael Odhiambo told AFP.

“When we got there, we found a crane had snapped and tumbled down,” he added.

The injured victims were being treated at a nearby hospital, he added.

Shoddy construction and flouted regulations have led to many such deadly accidents in Nairobi.

Kenya is undergoing a construction boom, but corruption has allowed contractors to cut corners or bypass regulations.

At least three people died in December 2019 when a residential building collapsed in Nairobi.

That incident came three months after seven children died and scores were injured when their school was flattened in an accident blamed on third-rate construction.

In April 2016, 49 people were killed when a six-floor building crumbled in the northeast of the capital.

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