Four people have reportedly died and scored feared trapped in mud after a collapsed rock landed on about 10 houses in Mathare slums, Nairobi, as heavy rains pounded the capital in the night and early morning today.

Rescue Teams have been deployed to the area and a rescue operation is under way. Eight others who have been rescued have been taken to hospital. Police and Kenya Red Cross (KRC) officials rushed to the area to help the trapped.

Residents say “many” people are trapped in the mud after a wall and a rock landed on the houses. It is believed the fall was caused by heavy rain that has been experienced in the city overnight. A caller said the wall caved in on the houses at about 4 am on Wednesday and it took long for the emergency services to arrive.

Emergency services have been mobilised to help the victims who were sleeping in the houses when the incident happened. Starehe Division police boss Aphiod Nyagah said he could see people trapped in the collapsed area and calling for help but he could do little to rescue them.

“There is no road to lead the emergency teams here. People are trapped and the vehicles cannot access the scene. We have to demolish some houses to enable the teams here,” he said on the phone. Witnesses and KRC officials said five people were pulled out of the mud alive minutes after the incident.

City Council Fire Brigade officials who arrived at the scene on time could do little as they said they needed a tractor to help them remove the heavy soil to reach the trapped. Police said they had called even doctors to the scene to attend to those rescued. Witnesses said efforts to remove the rubbles were hampered by the heavy rocks that were on the houses.

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“We have to get a bulldozer or tractor to remove these rubbles. It is a bad scene,” said Nyagah. The incident once again put on the spot the rescue and emergency services in the city with the residents airing their anger at the pace at which they responded.


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