At Least 7 Children Killed, 64 Injured After School Collapses in Kenya
The country's education minister said the building had a second story that had been built without planning permission
At least seven children were killed and dozens more injured after a school collapsed in Kenya early Monday.
Class had only just begun at Precious Talent Top School in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, when the building, made of corrugated metal and wood, crumbled around 7:30 a.m., the Associated Press reports.
At least seven people reportedly died, and another two were in critical condition.
“We were in class reading and we heard pupils and teachers screaming, and the class started collapsing and then a stone hit me on the mouth,” 10-year-old survivor Tracy Oduor told the AP. “When we got out of the gate, we heard that pupils were dead. I feel so sad.”
The Kenyatta National Hospital said 64 students from the school were admitted, most with minor injuries, in a tweet on Monday.
“Our medical team … has managed to contain the situation and the children are stable as they receive treatment,” the hospital wrote on Twitter.
Precious Talent was a two-story structure, though Kenya’s education minister George Magoha said the second level had been built without planning permission, according to the New York Times. He added that even if the building owners had tried to get permission to build the second floor, it never would have been approved.
“If there was no other story put on top of that building, these innocent children would not have died,” he said.
PEOPLE’s attempts to reach a Precious Talent Top School administrator for comment were unsuccessful.
Local residents expressed anger over the collapse, which some said could have been prevented had the school used more appropriate building materials.
“You can easily break it with your own hands, as easy as that,” resident Peter Ouko told the AP. “This is chicken wire, not a construction material, and someone had the guts to use this to build a construction for our kids. I think this is basically premeditated murder.”
According to the BBC, school director Moses Ndirangu blamed the collapse on a construction of a nearby sewer, which he said may have weakened the buildings’ foundation.
Nairobi News reports that the school will remain closed for the remainder of the week as an investigation into the cause of the collapse begins.