Africa

Kenya church group killed by flash floods in park

Hell's Gate National Park
Image caption Hell's Gate National Park is popular with walkers

Seven members of a church youth group have died after being swept away by flash floods in a national park, the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has said.

Park guides rescued eight others, KWS spokesman Paul Udoto said.

The Kenyan nationals were walking in a gorge at Hell's Gate National Park in Naivasha, about 90km (55 miles) north-west of the capital Nairobi.

Kenya's main rainy season between March and May often causes floods and massive displacement.

Bodies recovered

Mr Udoto says 53 members from the Mukara Presbyterian Church of East Africa youth group in Nairobi were visiting the park on Sunday when the incident happened.

"The seven people had gone missing just before dusk, when the group encountered sudden flash floods," he said in a statement.

All the bodies have been recovered and taken to Naivasha district hospital mortuary for identification by relatives.

Heavy rains had fallen in the neighbouring areas of Longonot, Kedong and Suswa - not in Hell's Gate itself, which lies south of Lake Naivasha.

The small park is named after a narrow break in the cliffs, which formed the banks of what was once a tributary of a prehistoric lake in the Rift Valley.

Two extinct volcanoes are located in the park - and it is also home to three geothermal power stations at Olkaria.

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