Published: Sat, October 27, 2018
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Dead Sea flash floods kill 13 young children

Dead Sea flash floods kill 13 young children

"Heavy rains caused a flash flood close to the Dead Sea that washed away a school bus carrying 37 students and seven minders", an official with Jordan's fire service told AFP.

The Dead Sea, the lowest point on the earth, is surrounded by steep valley slopes that frequently witness flash floods and landslides.

At least 18 people, a lot of them children, have been killed after raging floodwaters swept away a school bus near the Dead Sea.

At least 10 school children have died and 16 are still missing, rescuers said.

A complex rescue operation involving helicopters, divers, sniffer dogs and hundreds of searchers had continued into the night Thursday and then resumed after daybreak on Friday.

The region was bracing on Thursday for the first winter storms after the summer, with heavy rainfall and high winds expected.

At least 35 people were injured and a nearby bridge also collapsed, according to local media reports.

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The Israeli military, in a statement, confirmed that it has sent search and rescue helicopters to help Jordan following Amman's request for assistance.

The Air Force said after midnight that the rescue mission had returned to Israel. Gen. Kamil Abu Rokon wrote on the Arabic Facebook page of the Defense Ministry's liaison to the Palestinians.

It's not yet known how old the students are, or how many chaperones were among the victims.

IDF and civil search and rescue teams have flown to Jordan after flash flooding claimed the lives of 17 people, mostly schoolchildren. The specialists later returned to Israel, though they remained on alert. He was to have been the keynote speaker at a security conference.

"The students were on a school trip and it appears that a mudslide along the road swept their bus away", the official added.

King Abdullah II of Jordan, said that the Dead Sea flood incident "was a great tragedy that hurt all of us as Jordanians, God bless the dead and give us patience".

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