At least 18 people, mainly schoolchildren and teachers, were killed on Thursday in a flash flood near Jordan's Dead Sea that happened while they were on an outing, rescuers and hospital workers said.
Thirty-four people were rescued in an major operation involving police helicopters and hundreds of army troops, police chief Brigadier General Farid al Sharaa told state television. Some of those rescued were in a serious condition.
Many of those killed were children under 14.
A number of families picnicking in the popular destination were also among the dead and injured, rescuers said, without giving a breakdown of numbers.
Hundreds of families and relatives converged on Shounah hospital a few kilometers from the resort area.
Relatives sobbed and searched for details about the missing children, a witness said.
King Abdullah cancelled a trip to Bahrain to follow the rescue operations, state media said.
A witness said a bus with 37 schoolchildren and seven teachers had been on a trip to the resort area when the raging flood waters swept them into a valley.
*This story was edited by Ahram Online