A building in Marikiti Area of Mombasa County collapsed on Saturday, May 27, after developing cracks.
Reports indicated that several residents were injured and rushed to the hospital as rescue operations continued in the incident that occurred a few minutes past 1:00 pm.
A source with knowledge of the matter confirmed to Kenyans.co.ke that Mombasa Governor Abdulswamad Sharrif Nassir was at the scene alongside other emergency personnel and police officers.
Witnesses who had gathered at the scene captured the building crumbling to the ground. Additionally, police officers arrived at the scene promptly to help control the traffic and guide pedestrians.
Below is the video:
According to the residents, the house had been condemned after developing cracks and tenants asked to evacuate immediately.
The building was marked in huge red letters "VACATE DANGER", warning the tenants who lived there at the time.
"The leaders including the MCA came to the building to evacuate the tenants due to the threat the building posed," the Governor stated.
A notice from the County Government of Mombasa dated May 12 issued an alert to the tenants of their safety in the building.
"Please note that the office received a complaint of a potentially unsafe building in the Marikiti area off Biashara Street. Following a site visit conducted by the building inspection team, we have noted that the building is unsafe for human occupation," read part of the statement.
"The onset of the rainy season further puts this building at a high risk of imminent collapse. While investigations continue, you are hereby requested to inform your tenants to vacate the premises with immediate effect," warned the county government.
Following the incident, locals called upon the county government to be more strict with the guidelines on buildings in the county to avoid such kinds of disasters.
Inside the building, the cracks were across the floor leading up to the building and tampered with its electricity connection.
Notably, the Department of Lands, Urban Planning and Renewal was praised for the fast response that saw the lives of several tenants saved in the nick of time.
The incident came after a separate set of tenants in Kiambu County were asked to evacuate from a 10-year-old building after it developed cracks.
Incidents of buildings collapsing in the area were a result of contractors' use of substandard materials, extending the required height, unqualified contractors, and natural causes such as earthquakes.
In November 2022, Land Cabinet Secretary Zachary Njeru unveiled plans demanding all landlords to insure their buildings before being approved for use.
According to the CS, the move was aimed at protecting the tenants who often end up losing their property after a tragedy.
"It is our duty as the government to protect the public. We intend to make it mandatory that all infrastructure be used only if insured against third-party liability," he stated.