Officials charged with carelessness for Kenyan building collapse that killed at least 17

Four suspended senior officials of Nairobi's city council were charged with negligence Wednesday in the collapse of a building in the Kenyan capital that killed at least 17 people and injured more than 100. The four, including Director of Planning Francis Ndereva Mbae, were charged before Nairobi Chief Magistrate Aggrey Muchelule with failing to take proper precautions and supervising construction work at the building site between April and Jan. 23, when it collapsed.

They pleaded innocent and Muchelule set them free on bail of 500,000 shillings (US$6,946 or 5,731.97 euros). Muchelule said that their case will be heard on April 18.

In a separate case, Muchelule granted the police arrest warrants for the building's owner, Francis Nganga Kihonge, Kihonge's building contractor Stephen Kamau, the construction planner Stephen Kahuthu and a supervisor, only named as Macharia.

Police have drawn up manslaughter charges against Kihonge and the other three for the death of four construction workers. Kihonge and the others are required in court on Feb. 14.

Kenya called in help from Britain, Israel and the United States to rescue people trapped in the collapsed building. Rescue operations stopped last week. Relatives named 10 people whom they said were working at the site before the building collapsed and are now missing. About 280 laborers were at the site in central Nairobi when the building came down, survivors said, reports the AP.


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