The structure gave way minutes after the beginning of the daily courses on September 23, 2019. It was part of a private facility (Precious Talent Top School) located in western part of the city. Currently, private schools are thriving in Nairobi as public schools are low-graded and overcrowded.
The building was constructed by wood and metal sheets while a concrete slab separated the first and second story. According to reports, the first story collapsed trapping students under the rubble.
An investigation about the causes of the collapse has been launched. According to George Magoha, Kenya's Education Minister, the second story of the school was constructed without a planning permission. “If there was no other story put on top of that building, these innocent children would not have died,” the Minister stated.
Moreover, Moses Ndirangu, director of the school, stated that the construction of a sewer near the building may has weakened the structure's foundation leading to the collapse.
In any case, it seems that the building was prone to failure. Prof. Alfred Omenya, an architect based in Nairobi, stated that the building was not even supposed to be there. Constructed with a weak foundation and framework, it was a "disaster waiting to happen".
Rescue teams reported having trouble reaching the site due to the large number of people gathered nearby. 64 students were hospitalized, 2 of them in critical condition. According to the hospital, the situation was soon contained and all children were stable.
A local whose 4-year-old child was in the building at the time of the failure said: "I had just dropped my son to school and heard screams on my way back. I am just lucky my son survived".
The stability of the additional structures located in the school will be thoroughly investigated before the courses start over. According to Nairobi officials, 30,000-40,000 buildings in the city have been constructed without permission and may be at risk of failure.