18 killed after flash flood sweeps away students, teachers near Dead Sea

18 killed after flash flood sweeps away students, teachers near Dead Sea

Flash floods in Jordan killed at least 19 people, injured 22 and left more than 20 missing near the Dead Sea on Thursday, including schoolgirls and their teachers who were on a field trip to the area.

A general view shows the location of the accident where people were killed in a flash flood near the Dead Sea, Jordan, Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018.

Some of them are said to be in a serious condition.

"It swept away the students for four to five kilometres", some as far as the Dead Sea, he said.

There were an unknown number of people still missing, hospital sources said.

Gen. Police chief Brigadier General Farid al Sharaa, the commanding officer of the Jordanian civil defense team combing the area, told Al Arabiya English.

The country was hit with sudden heavy rain, which flooded the hot springs area near the Dead Sea.

Thirteen people escaped the flooding without injuries, with some holding on to rocks to survive.

A huge rescue operation has been launched and Israel said it had sent helicopters at Jordan's request.

Heavy rain has been sweeping the region for several days.

According to Reuters, Prime Minister Omar Razzaz said the school may have broken regulations which ban trips to the Dead Sea area during bad weather.

A bridge on one of the cliffs of the Dead Sea had collapsed with the intensity of the rains, the first such heavy rains after the end of the summer season.

There have been deadly incidents involving flash floods in Jordan in the past and in 1963, 23 French tourists were swept away by flash floods when they were trapped in the ancient Petra city.

He said the bus took a route not agreed upon by the ministry and the organiser of the trip bore full responsibility.

Jordan's King Abdullah II canceled a planned working visit to Bahrain, initially scheduled for Friday.

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

Related Articles