On April 29th 2016, a seven storey residential building in Nairobi, Kenya collapsed. The structure had failed after days of heavy rains and flooding. Following the collapse, parts of the building remained upright leaving room for rescue teams to save many people from the wreckage.
“Seven people are confirmed dead and 121 people have been rescued and rushed to various hospitals in Nairobi,” the Nairobi County police chief told Reuters.
This clearly contrast to the building that collapsed in Lagos, Nigeria at The SCOAN in September 2014. Many have since argued that the collapse at The SCOAN was not as a result of structural failure, but a controlled demolition.
When comparing the two incidents there are notable differences. It can be seen that The SCOAN building did not fall to one side as most do when there is a defect in the structure, but rather it fell on it’s own footprint, on top of itself leaving a slim chance for survival.
On the contrary, when the structure of the Kenyan building failed, it came down on one side leaving parts of the building still standing. This made room for more than 121 people to be rescued from the wreckage leaving only seven people confirmed to be dead as at the time of filling this report.
Another noticeable difference between the two cases is that the Kenyan building did not collapse suddenly but there were warning signs that the structure was failing. Residents were complaining that the building was shaking and making noise before it finally collapsed. “They told me that the house was shaking. When I arrived here I found that the house had collapsed.” a resident explained.
Operation Centre director Colonel Nathan Kigotho, told reporters at the scene, “The biggest cause of this was that the building was next to the river. The water most likely undermined the foundation,” he said.
Lower floors of the building crumpled, leaving some of the top storey almost intact. Broken bed frames, mattresses and clothes protruded from the wreckage.
Clear CCTV footage of the SCOAN building collapsed shows that the building suddenly came down within a matter of seconds without any previous warning.
Lets not forget the fact that residents of the collapsed Huruma building, Kenya were able to rescue household equipments such as furniture, mattress, kitchen utensils and other household appliances from the debris. Opposite was the case with The SCOAN building incident as there was no trace of the furnitures or household appliances. The entire building came down in dust making it impossible to recover any item from it.