Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 23 September 2019

Six confirmed dead after flash flood in Kenyan park

One person is still missing but presumed drowned after the deluge at Hell's Gate national park

Hell's Gate National Park in Kenya was closed to the public after seven people went missing after being swept away by a flash flood. Getty Images
Hell's Gate National Park in Kenya was closed to the public after seven people went missing after being swept away by a flash flood. Getty Images

Six people have been confirmed dead after a flash flood in a Kenyan national park swept away a tour group.

Paul Udoto, spokesman for the Kenya Wildlife Service, said those were swept away in the Sunday evening tragedy were five Kenyans of Indian descent, an Indian national and their Kenyan driver. Six of the bodies have been recovered, Udoto said Monday.

"It is with deep sorrow that we announce a tragedy in Hell's Gate National Park," it said.

"The victims are five Kenyans, local guide and a non-resident [foreigner]," it added.

The missing were part of a group visiting Hell's Gate – where the 2003 film Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life was shot – when they were swept away.

Two survivors from the group alerted park rangers, who sent out a search party.

There was no sign of the others, Rift Valley police chief Marcus Ochola told AFP.

A police officer said on condition of anonymity they were missing, "presumed dead", based on witness accounts of two survivors.

The KWS tweeted that a helicopter was due to arrive from Nairobi to help with the search and rescue operation. The gorge had been closed to the public because of heavy rains.

Hell's Gate, named by 19th-century explorers, is around 100 kilometres northwest of the Kenyan capital Nairobi and just south of Lake Naivasha.

Its spectacular scenery inspired the Disney animation The Lion King.

Established in 1984, the park is also home to three geothermal stations.

The park remains closed to the public because of the continuing rain.

Updated: September 2, 2019 01:16 PM

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