Flash flooding in Jordan's Dead Sea area swept a bus carrying dozens of school children away on Thursday afternoon
Flash flooding swept through an area near the Dead Sea in Jordan on Thursday afternoon, killing at least 18 people.
Among the dead were children who were aboard a school bus when the flooding hit, sweeping them away. Jordan's state news agency, Petra, confirmed the death toll in a tweet, saying dozens more had been rescued.
Stories of the victims
Facebook users posted in local groups pictures of the children who were still missing, and pictures of those believed to be dead. One user, from Jerusalem, provided information on a boy who had been rescued and taken to hospital, She asked anyone who knew his name to call.
"He is in a good condition," she added.
On Twitter, Jordanian user Renad Khafner said she knew of a mother who had sent her two daughters on the school trip that was hit in the flooding. "One of them made it, but the other did not," she wrote.
"The fact that this girl had to witness her sister passing away is beyond words. This is too devastating."
We have reached out to Khafner and other witnesses of the incident.
Jordanian Prime Minister Omar Razzaz sent his condolences to the families of the victims, promising an investigation into the incident, and said that anyone responsible would be held accountable.
King Abdullah II cancelled his scheduled trip to Bahrain following news of the flooding, and in a later tweet thanked surrounding Arab nations, including Egypt and Saudi Arabia for its condolences.
Israel joins rescue efforts
Israel's Air Force confirmed in several tweets that it had joined Jordan in the search and rescue efforts for those still missing, but the operation had been paused due to harsh weather conditions.
"IDF soldiers searched for the missing in Jordan until the harsh weather made it impossible to do so and the Jordanian authorities called off the search," it said in a statement.