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Kenyan building owner faces 52 manslaughter charges

Kenyan building owner faces 52 manslaughter charges
Collapse of six-story Nairobi block in April led to 2-week rescue effort

By Magdalene Mukami

NAIROBI, Kenya (AA) - The owner of a residential building that collapsed in Kenyan capital Nairobi in April appeared in court on Tuesday to face 52 counts of manslaughter.

Samuel Kamau Karanja denied the charges and is due to reappear at Nairobi’s High Court on Wednesday for a bail hearing.

The six-story building in the Huruma district collapsed during heavy rains on April 29, killing 52 people.

Karanja’s brother Henry Muruiri and two others are charged along with Karanja with four counts of giving false construction information to the police between 2011 and 2013.

According to the prosecution, rooms were rented out in the building despite it having been declared unfit to live in.

Four officials from Nairobi City County are also to face charges.

Following the collapse, rescue teams spent two weeks combing the rubble for survivors, finally dragging 135 people from wreckage of the 198-room block.

Corruption and the use of substandard building material have been linked to similar incidents in the past, with officials delaying the demolition of condemned buildings.

Following the tragedy, Kenya began tearing down more than 50 substandard multi-story buildings.

source: News Feed
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