Nairobi building collapse: Baby girl rescued after four days

Image source, BONNY ODHIAMBO
Image caption,
The girl was said to be dehydrated but with no visible injuries

A six-month-old girl has been rescued from the debris of a building that collapsed four days ago in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

Later the Kenyan Red Cross said the baby, Dealeryn Saisi Wasike, was reunited with her father. She has no physical injuries.

The six-storey residence came down in heavy rain, killing at least 23 people.

Dozens of others are still thought to be buried under the rubble, but hopes of finding more alive are fading.

The baby's mother is still missing.

The building had been earmarked for demolition. Its owner was due to appear in court on Tuesday charged with manslaughter.

Samuel Karanja Kamau was arrested on Monday. Officials say he did not have permission to rent out the building's 119 rooms.

Mr Kamau has not yet commented on the allegation.

About 135 people have been freed so far from the collapsed building, local media report. Another 93 have been reported missing.

Image source, EPA
Image caption,
Dozens of people are still feared trapped under the rubble

The Kenya Red Cross said the baby girl was found in the rubble at 04:00 local time (01:00 GMT), in a bucket wrapped in a blanket.

Dealeryn appeared dehydrated, but had no visible injuries, it added. She was rushed to hospital for treatment.

She was originally reported to have been one-and-a-half years old.

The fact that the baby was not seriously injured played a key role in her survival, said Dr Ian MacOnachie, an expert in emergency medicine and clinical standards at the UK's Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.

Dr MacOnachie told the BBC that, at this age, up to 90% of babies' bodies was made up of water, acting as a "natural storage" in cases of dehydration.

"She must have been fairly dried when she was found. But I'm not completely surprised," he said.

'Strong daughter'

Several hours later, the Red Cross tweeted that it had located the baby's father, Ralson Saisi Wasike, through its tracing services.

He was reunited with Dealeryn, whom he positively identified.

Media caption,
Raslon Saisi Wasike paid tribute to those who had rescued his daughter: ""Through their efforts, through their patience... we can smile"

More bodies were retrieved overnight.

Mr Wasike, speaking at a shelter where he has been living since the building collapsed, said his daughter had been strong but he had feared for the worst when he was unable to find her.

He had visited hospitals and mortuaries to look for his child, and was overjoyed when he heard she had been rescued.

Miracle rescues

  • 2004 Iran earthquake - Woman in her 90s found alive and unscathed eight days after a huge earthquake destroyed the city of Bam
  • 2005 South Asian earthquake - Shameer Shah Jehan, aged five, rescued from collapsed school in Balakot, Pakistan, after three days. Extraordinarily, a 40-year-old woman was saved from what had been her kitchen in Pakistani-administered Kashmir, more than two months after the quake
  • 2010 Haiti earthquake - 24-year-old man pulled alive from the rubble of a ruined hotel in Port-au-Prince after 11 days. Another man was rescued a day later from under a shop
  • May 2013 Bangladesh building collapse - Woman pulled from the ruins of a factory, 17 days after it collapsed
  • 2015 Nepal earthquake - 15-year-old boy pulled out five days after an earthquake devastated the capital Kathmandu and the surrounding area

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