At least 16 people, a lot of them children, were killed in a fierce flood on the Jordanian side of the Dead Sea Thursday.
"The number of those killed in the flashflood was expected to increase because many were reported to have been swept away by the raging water", the officer said. Some of those rescued were in a serious condition.
The incident began early Thursday afternoon when 37 students from an Amman private school, along with seven adult chaperones, as well as other visitors were taking a break at hot springs several kilometers from the Dead Sea shores. Relatives sobbed and searched for details about the missing children, a witness said.
"Thank God we managed to save 13 people without any injuries", Mr al Sahraa said.
The Reuters news agency quoted police chief Brigadier General Farid al Sharaa as telling state television that the rush of floodwater swept away a bus carrying a total of 44 children and teachers.
King Abdullah cancelled a trip to Bahrain to follow the rescue operations, state media said.
Prime Minister Omar Razzaz rushed to the scene, overseeing part of the rescue operation and visiting the wounded at an area hospital.More news: Terminator Pushed To Fill Wonder Woman 1984's Old Release Date
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The Dead Sea is the lowest point on Earth and popular with visitors.
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.
Regarding the accident, the Jordanian Ministry of Education indicated in a statement, that they are going to open an official investigation of what happened and pointed out that "the school did not have permission to travel" through the Dead Sea area.
The official, who was not named, expressed surprise that a school trip had been organised despite weather warnings.
According to the officials, the death toll is expected to rise.
In April, 10 teenagers died after heavy rain sparked flash flooding south of the Dead Sea.