KENYA – Baby rescued four days after collapse
NAIROBI –– 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.
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.
The Kenya Red Cross said the baby girl was found in the rubble at 4 a.m. local time (1 a.m. 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 per cent 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.
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.
More bodies were retrieved overnight.
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.