At least 14 children and teachers die in Jordan flood

Unit 669 simulates rescue operation January 2010

At least 18 people, mainly school children and teachers, were killed on Thursday (Oct 25) by a flash flood during a school outing near Jordan's Dead Sea in one of the worst disasters in the kingdom in years, rescuers and hospital workers said.

"The IDF has begun assisting in the rescue of the Jordanian children's bus that was swept away adjacent to the Dead Sea on the Jordanian side as a result of flooding in the southern area earlier today", the IDF stated.

Israel sent search-and-rescue helicopters to help, an Israeli military statement said.

The Jordan Meteorological Department (JMD) announced on Monday that a depression and a relatively cold air mass were expected to affect the country as of Thursday, head of the JMD's weather forcasting said on Thursday.

Unit 669 performs search and rescue operations in both military and civilian conditions - extracting wounded soldiers from war zones and transporting vehicle crash victims to hospitals. "By 7:00pm we had 10 dead bodies and 11 mildly injured people", the doctor at the hospital's emergency room told The Jordan Times over the phone.

At least 17 schoolchildren and teachers have been killed and others injured after flash floods swept away their bus near the Dead Sea in Jordan.

Razzaz said divers and civil defence search teams would be conducting search operations deep inside the Dead Sea throughout the night.

The spokesman said the students were from a middle school.

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

Jordan's prime minister Omar Razzaz visited the scene to oversee the rescue mission.

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

He reportedly instructed state agencies to provide all needed assistance to ensure the safety of the students.

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