June 7, 2016 / 9:07 PM / 2 years ago

Kenya charges six men over building collapse that killed 51

NAIROBI (Reuters) - A Kenyan court charged six men with manslaughter on Tuesday over the collapse of a multi-storey building in Nairobi’s Huruma district in April which left at least 51 people dead.

Rescue workers use a bulldozer as they continue to search for survivors in Huruma neighbourhood in the rubble of a six-storey building that collapsed in Nairobi, Kenya, May 5, 2016. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

The six-storey structure had been built near a river and collapsed after heavy rain. People were living in the building despite authorities having condemned it as unsafe.

Edward Oonge, one of the defense lawyers, told Reuters that five of the six men had been summoned to appear in court on June 15. The sixth was present in court as the charges were read.

In May, Kenyan authorities started evicting people from poorly built buildings and demolishing those declared unsafe.

Nairobi is struggling to find homes for its fast-growing population, and developers often put up buildings to cater for the soaring demand in violation of construction codes. Analysts say widespread corruption means few are ever prosecuted.

Several other buildings in Nairobi have collapsed in recent years but none have killed as many people.

Reporting by Humphrey Malalo; Editing by Elias Biryabarema and Louise Ireland

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