Two dead, 5 missing after flash flood at Kenyan park

NAIROBI, Kenya (AFP) — Six tourists, including a foreigner, and their guide were swept away Sunday after a flash flood at Kenya’s Hell’s Gate national park, the Kenya Wildlife Service said, confirming at least two dead.

Two bodies were recovered but the five others remained missing, the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) said on Twitter, adding that the search and rescue operation would continue through the night.

“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 (60 miles) northwest of the Kenyan capital Nairobi and just south of Lake Naivasha.

Its spectacular scenery inspired the Disney animation “The Lion King”.

The park, established in 1984, is also home to three geothermal stations.

© Agence France-Presse