At least 10 school children died and 16 were missing after a flash flood near Jordan’s Dead Sea, where around 40 children and their teachers were on an outing on Thursday, rescuers said.

A major rescue operation involving helicopters and army troops was underway. Search teams have so far rescued 11 people, some of whom are in a serious condition, civil defence sources told Reuters.

Hospitals in the area were put on high alert.

A civil defence official was quoted on state television as saying that the number of casualties was expected to rise.

A witness said a bus with 37 school children and seven teachers had been on a trip to a resort area when raging floodwaters swept them into a valley.

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