Kenya: Hell's Gate Tragedy Death Toll Rises as More Bodies Are Recovered

Hells Gate National Park, Kenya.
2 September 2019

Death toll from the Sunday flash floods at Hell's Gate National Park in Nakuru County has risen to six.

Two more bodies were recovered on Sunday night and two others on Monday morning, according to a report from the rescue team of police and rangers from Kenya Wildlife Services.

"Six bodies of the flash flood victims have been recovered, leaving one tourist missing," KWS said in a tweet on Monday.

"The search and rescue operation continues as we reach out to next of kin to share details of the sad incident and plan together next course of action".

VICTIMS

A police report seen by the Nation says the seven victims were in a group of 13 local and foreign tourists on an excursion inside the Ol-Jorowa Gorge.

Police said the dead include five Kenyans of Indian origin, a Maasai tour guide and a foreigner whose citizenship is yet to be revealed.

The Nation is not naming the victims until their families and relatives are notified by police.

"Those who escaped include Ivraj Singh Hayer, Jesica Sambhi, Robert Ombaga, Daniel Ongesa, Clare Wambui and Sammy Kisotu," the police report reads in part.

FLASH FLOODS

The Hell's Gate, which lies south of Lake Naivasha, and which was once a tributary of a prehistoric lake that fed early humans in the Rift Valley, experiences floods because of the gorges that lie downhill.

Even when it has not rained, water from other regions of Nyandarua and Nakuru counties flow to the gullies in Hell's Gate in huge volumes.

Hell's Gate park, which was established in 1984, has in the past claimed the lives of several domestic and international tourists.

In 2012, eight members of a Nairobi church youth group were swept away by flash floods.

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