News World At least 18, mostly children, killed in Jordan flash flood

At least 18, mostly children, killed in Jordan flash flood

At least 18 people, mainly schoolchildren and teachers, were killed on Thursday 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.

Thirty-four people were rescued in a major operation involving police helicopters and hundreds of army troops, police chief Brigadier General Farid al Sharaa told state television. Some of those rescued were in a serious condition.

Many of those killed were children under 14. A number of families picnicking in the popular destination were also among the dead and injured, rescuers said, without giving a breakdown of numbers.

Hundreds of families and relatives converged on Shounah hospital a few kilometres from the resort area. Relatives sobbed and searched for details about the missing children, a witness said.

The flooding occurred after heavy rainfall, the first such rains after the end of the summer season.

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.

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

A father of one of the survivors said a bus with 37 schoolchildren and seven teachers had been on a trip to the resort area. They were caught in a narrow stream as sudden torrential rainstorm flooded the area.

“The children tried to escape the floods by going to the bus but its doors were closed,” said Abu Yousef told reporters.

“The teachers tried to save the children but the floods intensity made it impossible,” he added saying the children were swept to the shores of the Dead Sea, the lowest point on Earth.

King Abdullah cancelled a trip to Bahrain to follow the rescue operations, state media said.

Neighbouring Israel sent search-and-rescue helicopters to assist, an Israeli military statement said, adding the team dispatched at Amman’s request was operating on the Jordanian side of the Dead Sea.

Civil defence spokesman Captain Iyad al Omar told Reuters the number of casualties was expected to rise. Rescue workers using flashlights were searching the cliffs near the shore of the Dead Sea where bodies had been found.

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.

(Reuters)

Top Stories

Three injuries from two separate accidents in Paphos district

Three people were injured in two separate traffic accidents in Paphos district over the past 24 hours, Philenews reported on Tuesday. In the first one,...

UK study: Evidence of waning antibody immunity to COVID-19 over time

Antibodies against the novel coronavirus declined rapidly in the British population during the summer, a study found on Tuesday, suggesting protection after infection may...

Worldwide coronavirus cases cross 43.32 million

More than 43.32 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 1,156,285​ have died, according to a Reuters...

Foreign Ministers of Greece-Cyprus-Israel meet in Athens

A trilateral meeting of the Foreign Affairs Ministers of Greece, Cyprus, and Israel takes place in Athens on Tuesday. The agenda of the meeting includes...

President Anastasiades reiterates Cyprus problem solution based on UN resolutions

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades has reiterated the unwavering commitment of his government to a solution of the Cyprus problem based on UN resolutions, the...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...