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Kenya tour group swept away by flash flood

Nairobi

02-September-2019

Seven people of a tour group were swept away by a flash flood due to heavy rains in Kenya's Hell's Gate National Park, known for its gorges, authorities said on Monday.

Following the incident on Sunday, the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) said on Monday that it has suspended visits to the gorges at the park, Xinhua news agency reported.

"The gorge in Hell's Gate National Park has been closed to the public with immediate effect due to continuing rains," a KWS statement said. "A helicopter will be released from Nairobi to help with the search and rescue operation."

The KWS said the victims comprised five Kenyan tourists, a local guide and a non-resident, adding that six bodies have been recovered and one was still missing.

"The search and rescue will continue until everybody is accounted for," the KWS said.

The Hell's Gate, which lies south of Lake Naivasha, and which was once a tributary of a prehistoric lake, experiences floods because the gorges lie downhill.

In April 2012, seven members of a Nairobi church youth group perished after they were swept away by flash floods.

The park is known for its scenic features. IANS