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AMMAN: A teacher has described the moment a flash flood engulfed a school trip near the Dead Sea in Jordan and swept 21 people, mainly children, to their death.

“The water and mud levels kept on rising, and we tried to find a safe refuge,” Majd Al-Sharari said. “But some students who were walking in a stream were washed away.”

Jordanian civil defense officials said on Saturday there had been no further calls reporting people missing after Thursday’s flood, and the search for survivors and bodies had ended.

The party from Victoria College in Amman had been visiting the popular Wadi Zarqa Ma’in tourist site. Al-Sharari said the trip was organized by a private company with three tour guides.

After four hours the rain began to pour down and the group decided to return to Amman, she said — but the flood took them by surprise.

She managed to get some children to high ground, but the rocks were disappearing as the water level rose and they were left stranded.

“The moments passed like years,” she said. The tour guides had given instructions not to carry anything with them, so no one with her had any means of communication.

“We were waiting for the flow to stop and the rising water to recede,” she said. “By 6:30 p.m. we finally saw a man approaching us, that is when we gave a sigh of relief and realized that rescue was on its way.”

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