Jordan's emergency services said Thursday that 17 people were killed and over a dozen more injured when torrential rains swept away a bus of students and teachers touring near the Dead Sea.
Ghazi al-Zaben says 21 others on the school outing were rescued by late Thursday.
The official news agency Petra says 37 students, along with seven adults, had been touring near the Dead Sea when heavy rains unleashed flash floods in the area.
A major rescue operation involving helicopters and army troops was underway.
Hospitals in the area were put on high alert.
A civil defense official was quoted on state television as saying that the number of casualties was expected to rise.
The Israeli military said it dispatched an elite search and rescue team to the area at the request of the Jordanian government.
Petra says Jordanian Prime Minister Omar Razzaz was on the scene to oversee the rescue mission.
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