At least 100 Somali refugees drowned off the Kenyan coast early Saturday, when the boat ferrying to safety from war-ravaged Somalia hit a rock and capsized, the official Kenya News Agency said.

There were 650 passengers aboard the Christiana Hama when at 1 a.m. local time the vessel struck the rock, just offshore from the Kenyan coastal resort of Malindi, 270 miles southeast of Nairobi, the agency said.About 510 of the passengers, who had left Kismayu in southern Somalia Feb. 26, survived. But 100 bodies had already been recovered by Saturday afternoon, and Kenyan navy divers held little hope the remaining 40 refugees were still alive.