Advanced rescue techniques: Lessons learned from the collapse of a building in Nairobi, Kenya

Ariel Rokach, Dani Nemet, Mickey Dudkiewicz, Alberto Albalansi, Moshe Pinkert, Dagan Schwartz, Yaron Bar-Dayan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This paper examines the collapse of a five-storey building in Nairobi, Kenya, on 23 January 2006. It draws on reports from local authorities and on debriefings by Israel's Home Front Command (HFC), including information on injury distribution, rescue techniques, and the mode of operation. Most of the 117 people found under the structure were evacuated on the first day to a public hospital, which was overwhelmed by the incident. HFC forces arrived 23 hours after the disaster. At that stage, two people were still buried under the building and special techniques (tunnelling and scalping) were required to secure their evacuation. The two people quickly recovered after a short stay in hospital. Local technology is the preferred option during such events because time is crucial. International cooperation is required when this technology is not available. All of the hospitals in the disaster area, including private facilities, should participate in treating casualties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-179
Number of pages9
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2009


  • Building collapse
  • Disaster
  • Evacuation
  • Israel home front command
  • Kenya
  • Nairobi
  • Scalping
  • Tunnelling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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