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10 missing after 'condemned' building in Nairobi collapses

At least 10 people are missing after an eight-storey building collapsed in a low-income area of Nairobi, witnesses and officials in Kenya said.

The incident happened late on Monday night, Nairobi Police Chief Japheth Koome said.

Police fired tear gas after residents angered by the slow deployment of government rescuers hurled stones, hampering search and rescue efforts, said a resident, Hailey Akinyi.

Ms Akinyi, who lives in an adjacent building, witnessed the collapse and said three people had been rescued from the debris.

The collapsed building and the building she lives in had been marked with an "X", meaning they had been condemned by the National Construction Authority, she said.

Most of Nairobi's four million inhabitants live in low-income areas or slums. Housing is in high demand and unscrupulous developers often bypass regulations. Building collapses have become common.

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 conform to standards. The National Construction Authority found that 58% of buildings in Nairobi are unfit for habitation.

Last year a building collapse in another low-income area killed 37 people and injured 70 others. The rescue mission took days, during which a six-month-old baby and a pregnant woman were among those pulled safely out of the rubble.

After that collapse the government ordered all condemned buildings to be demolished and residents evacuated but the operation was never completed after media attention waned.

Last month eight people died when a wall collapsed on them in the coastal city of Mombasa following heavy rain

AP

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