A dam burst its banks in Kenya's Rift Valley, killing at least 27 people and forcing hundreds from their homes, Kenyan officials said Thursday. Water burst through the banks of the Patel Dam in Solai, Nakuru County, on Wednesday night, sweeping away hundreds of homes, including those on the expansive Nyakinyua Farm, which borders the reservoir. "We have recovered 27 bodies and many people are missing. It is a disaster," said Rongai police chief Joseph Kioko. Rescue operation by Kenya Red Cross and Nakuru County disaster management teams went into operation Thursday morning and up to 40 people have been rescued from the mud and taken to hospitals. Many are feared still trapped. Officials said the dam water and mud spilt out of the reservoir and submerged homes, extending to a radius of nearly two kilometers (more than a mile) Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi was set to visit the site Thursday.