18 schoolchildren, teachers killed as flash floods sweep away school bus

At least 17 dead, dozens missing in Dead Sea floods

The bus had been carrying 37 pupils and seven members of staff to the Zara Maeen hot springs area when it was washed away, officials said.

Heavy rains also caused roads to flood in the Jordanian capital, Amman, while big hail stones fell in Ajloun, in the north of the country.

He said rescuers were still searching for people missing in the area, a popular tourist attraction around 50 kilometres (30 miles) west of Amman.

Also among the dead were passers-by who had been picnicking in the area, he said, adding that a nearby bridge had collapsed. -Gen. Farid al Sharaa told state television.

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

Prime Minister Omar Razzaz said it appeared the school had broken regulations by the ministry of education that forbade trips to the Dead Sea due to bad weather and pledged an investigation that would hold anyone found responsible for any wrongdoing accountable.

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.

Flash flooding was reported in the south due to heavy rainfall with police closing off Highway 90 by the Dead Sea, which flooded it.

King Abdullah, who had been active in the emergency operations room and following up on rescue efforts late on Thursday and Friday, cancelling a trip to Bahrain to address an annual security summit, expressed his anger at the negligence that led to the deaths of schoolgirls, teachers and residents in the area.

Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Israel Air Force (AIF) helicopters were assisting the search and rescue operation following a request from the Jordanian government.

The search for survivors continued after daybreak, with helicopters and teams with sniffer dogs scouring the rocky slopes near the Dead Sea in the Jordan Valley.

In April, nine Israeli teenagers hiking south of the Dead Sea were killed in a similar flood.

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