It was not immediately clear why the building, built of corrugated metal and wood, collapsed but authorities warn thousands of shabby structures have been constructed without approval in Kenya's capital.

People gather at the site of a collapsed school classroom in Nairobi, Kenya. September 23, 2019.
People gather at the site of a collapsed school classroom in Nairobi, Kenya. September 23, 2019. (Reuters)

At least seven children were killed as a classroom at a school in Kenya's capital Nairobi collapsed on Monday morning, officials said.

Parents wailed at the scene of The Precious Talent Top School in Nairobi. Hundreds of residents of Dagoretti––a poor neighborhood where many live in makeshift houses––gathered as emergency workers picked through debris. 

Rescue workers were searching for anyone still trapped underneath.

Government spokesman Cyrus Oguna said 57 students had been taken to hospital. Local media reported that most were in stable condition.

"The children here were all running away and crying," local resident Michael Otieno said. More than 800 students are enrolled at the school, officials said.

TRT World's Philip Owira has more. 

The first floor of the building collapsed, trapping the children below, local lawmaker John Kiarie told NTV Kenya.

It was not immediately clear why the building of corrugated metal and wood collapsed around 7:30 am (local time), but authorities have previously warned 30-40,000 buildings erected without approval in Nairobi are at risk of collapse.

People stand near papers at the site of a collapsed school classroom, in Nairobi, Kenya, September 23, 2019.
People stand near papers at the site of a collapsed school classroom, in Nairobi, Kenya, September 23, 2019. (Reuters)

Three years ago a six-storey residential block collapsed in Nairobi, killing 51 people following heavy rains.

Nathaniel Matalanga, a structural engineer with La Femme Engineering Services, told reporters at the scene that he didn't think "any professionals" were involved in the school's construction and he blamed "greed."

There was no immediate comment from school officials.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies