Six people were killed after a 10-story residential building that was under construction collapsed in Kisii town on Thursday morning.
Two were killed when the incident occurred at about 11am while four others were found dead later in the day during search and rescue operations.
Forty four others, including two children, were rescued and taken to various hospitals in the county.
Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital CEO Ondari Otieno said 27 people were admitted with serious injuries.
Otieno told the Star that 17 others who suffered minor injuries were treated and discharged.
Rescue teams said many others are feared trapped in rubble at the site at Daraja Moja.
The building is located behind Governor James Ongwae’s office, close to the central business district. Ongwae and his Nyamira counterpart John Nyagarama visited the scene.
Witnesses said the building collapsed after developing large cracks on the ground floor which had occupants.
Preliminary investigations indicated it was among 280 structures that had been marked for demolition by the National Construction Authority.
Government Spokesman Erick Kiraithe said the number of people who were in the building at the time of the collapse could not be verified.
Kiraithe said it is believed a large number of them were construction workers.
“The owner of the building and the building’s architect are also believed to have been in the building though this has not been confirmed,” he said.
He added that the government will continue issuing progress reports.
Residents living in nearby buildings were asked to vacate their houses.
Rescue operations were hampered by crowds that milled around but police, led by county commissioner Kula Hache, cleared the site. A heavy downpour posed more challenges.
The bodies were taken to Kisii hospital mortuary.
In April last year, a five-storey flat in Jogoo estate, collapsed, leading to the evacuation of residents living within 30 metres of the premises.
The building started to sink after developing large cracks on the ground floor, causing panic among tenants.
Several residential buildings in Kisii town have collapsed in the recent past.