Jordan floods death toll increases, mostly schoolchildren

Minnie Murray
October 27, 2018

The storm system that triggered the heavy rainfall and flooding will depart the region on Friday, with dry weather in store for continued cleanup and rescue operations this weekend. Several people are still feared missing, he said.

Also among the dead were passers-by who had been picnicking in the area, he said, adding that a nearby bridge had collapsed.

Government newspaper Al-Rai carried the headline "Tragedy at the Dead Sea" on its front page, while the private Al-Ghad daily said it was a "Black Day".

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.

He posted a copy of the school's field trip permit, which had named a different destination - not the Dead Sea.

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

Among the dead were three Iraqi nationals; two Iraqi students and an Iraqi woman in her 20s who was believed to have been a chaperone on the ill-fated school trip, the Jordan Civil Defence said, noting that there were no other foreign nationals or tourists among the fatalities.

Rescue workers were continuing to search for survivors, he said.

"The number of those killed in the flash flood is expected to increase because many were reported to have been swept away by the raging water", the official said.

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

His Majesty King Abdullah said Friday that "yesterday's tragedy touched us all as Jordanians".

"In light of a request from the Jordanian government, a number of air force helicopters with 669 soldiers, led by the commander of the unit, were dispatched", an IDF statement read.

An official with Jordan's civil defence department told the Jordan Times newspaper the death toll was expected to increase.

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