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Baby Rescued From Rubble After 80 Hours in Nairobi, Kenya

by Alexander Smith /  / Updated  / Source: Reuters
Residents stand in front of the collapsed building in Nairobi on Sunday.DAI KUROKAWA / EPA

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A baby girl was rescued from the rubble around 80 hours after a six-story building collapsed and killed more than 20 people in Kenya's capital, officials said early Tuesday.

Six-month-old Dealeryn Saisi Wasike was dehydrated but had "no visible physical injuries," according to the Kenya Red Cross.

She was discovered wrapped in a blanket inside a bucket at around 4 a.m. local time (9 p.m. ET Monday) and taken to the city's main hospital for treatment.

Her father, Ralson Saisi Wasike, told reporters how grateful he was to the rescuers who found his daughter.

"Through their efforts, through their patience, through their hearts that are human, that's why people like us, we can smile," he said. "I'm very sorry and I feel so too because we have some other people who have not yet found their [relatives]."

Doctors treat the rescued child at Nairobi's Kenyatta National Hospital on Tuesday.Bonny Odhiambo / Kenya Red Cross

The Kenya Red Cross earlier had identified the girl as a toddler around 18 months old.

The building situated in Nairobi's eastern suburb of Huruma collapsed late Friday after days of heavy rain and flooding. At least 21 people have died and 96 are still missing, according to the Red Cross.

"In conditions of no air, dirt, no food, no water, it's very difficult for that person to stay alive," the Red Cross's Anthony Mwangi told Reuters before the tot was found.

The discovery came just as hopes were fading of finding anyone alive.

Mwangi said some of the 96 people unaccounted for may have fled and not checked in with authorities. "There are some who may be buried beneath the rubble," he added.

Residents stand in front of the collapsed building in Nairobi on Sunday.DAI KUROKAWA / EPA

But the baby girl's survival has given rescuers renewed optimism.

"We hope there are more people trapped, maybe in pockets under the rubble," he told NBC News. "The search-and-rescue operation will not be called off until it is determined that none of those missing can be found alive."

The owner of the building was taken in for questioning by police Monday, according to Reuters.

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