Monday, April 23, 2012

Six bodies recovered from site of park tragedy

Rescuers carry one of the seven bodies recovered from a gorge at Hell's Gate National park in Naivasha on April 23, 2012. PHOTO /  Suleiman Mbatiah

Rescuers carry one of the seven bodies recovered from a gorge at Hell's Gate National park in Naivasha on April 23, 2012. PHOTO / Suleiman Mbatiah  

By Nation Reporter

All missing six bodies were recovered from a gorge at Hells Gate Park, Naivasha, on Monday where floods had swept a party of youth from Mukara PCEA church.

The retrieval of the six bodies, together with one recovered on Sunday, accounts for the seven victims in the tragedy.

Kenya Wildlife Services personnel said the bodies will be taken to Naivasha district hospital mortuary for identification by relatives.

The seven drowned in flash floods at the park on Sunday. They were part of a group of 35 young men and women from Mukara PCEA in Dagoretti, Nairobi, who had gone for a trip at the park. (READ: Park tragedy as 7 killed in freak floods )

"All the seven bodies of members of a church youth group who were swept away last (Sunday) evening by flash floods in Naivasha have been sighted and are being retrieved," a statement released on Monday by KWS spokesman Paul Udoto stated.

"The seven people had gone missing just before dusk when the group encountered sudden flash floods. The rains resulting in the unexpected flash floods had fallen in neighbouring areas of Longonot, Kedong and Suswa and not in Hells Gate itself."

The group left Nairobi in the morning and was expected back at 4pm, according to the Rev Nancy Muthoni, the parish minister.

Survivors told the Nation on Sunday night that a group of 15 had entered a gorge at the park just before dusk, but were trapped by sudden floods. Guides accompanying the youth group rescued eight.

Hells Gate Park remained open on Monday despite the tragedy, with members of the local community indicating that this was the first ever loss of lives in such a scale.

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