Kenya suspends visit to Hell's Gate park after flash flood deaths

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Flash floods killed four people and three are missing after their tour group was swept away at Kenya's Hell's Gate National Park, the state-run wildlife authority said on Monday. Corporate Communication Director Paul Udoto confirmed deaths of six of the victims on Monday morning.

"Six bodies of the flash flood victims have been recovered, having one tourist missing". All responses will be confidential. Search operations are underway for the three people still missing.

A police officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP that the rest of the missing were "presumed dead", based on witness accounts from survivors.

Hell's Gate: Kenya tour group swept away by flash flood
Kenya: Several dead after floods at Hell's Gate National Park

The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) said that seven people - five Kenyans, a local tourist guide and a "non-resident foreigner" - had been caught in the flash flood Sunday in Hell's Gate National Park.

The gorge in the popular park was closed Sunday following the incident, according to the agency which said that tour groups were usually accompanied by guides, who are trained to detect storm water flowing down from the gorge and alert visitors to impending danger.

It added that a helicopter was being dispatched from the capital Nairobi, which is about 100 kilometers (62 miles) southeast of the park, to help with search efforts.

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It is the site of spectacular scenery which inspired the hit Disney animation film The Lion King.

Hell's Gate park, which was established in 1984, has in the past claimed the lives of several domestic and worldwide tourists. Get it for your iPhone here.

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