Jordan: Scores on school trip die in flash flooding

At least 18 people, students and teachers, on a school trip perished Thursday after their bus was swept away by flooding near the Dead Sea.

Army officer Brig. Gen. Farid al-Sharaa said 37 middle school students, seven teachers were surprisingly taken away in flash floods on several kilometers while they were visiting hot springs near the Dead Sea on Thursday afternoon.

The incident took place when the group was having lunch, the army officer said.

“It swept away the students for 4 to 5 kilometers,” some as far as the Dead Sea, he said.

The government dispatched helicopters and divers to save victims. 35 were rescued in the operations that went on late at night with the support of the Israeli army, which sent a search and rescue team at the request of the Arab country.

Some reportedly survived clinging to rocks. Prime Minister Omar Razzaz reportedly joined the rescue operation. The kingdom’s monarch Abdullah II called off his Friday planned trip to Bahrain.

The Middle East country witnessed heavy rains on Thursday afternoon leaving several parts of the country in water.

The rains also battered Israel causing floods in the north. A 4-year-old boy who was swept away.

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