A terrifying flash flood in Jordan killed at least 18 people Thursday, most of them middle school children who were on a school bus that was swept away. Authorities say the death toll, which is expected to rise, also includes members of families who were picnicking near the Zara Maeen hot springs area, a popular tourist site, the BBC reports. Police chief Farid al-Sharaa says the flood surged for around 3 miles.
"There were people who ended up in the sea water and there were people who managed to reach rocks and save themselves," he told state TV. Israel's military says it has sent a search and rescue team to the area in response to a request from Jordanian authorities, reports the AP. (Last week, flash flooding forced mass evacuations near the Grand Canyon.)