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Nine teenagers killed in Israel flash flood

The 18-year-old hikers belonged to a group of around 25, who were taking part in a pre-army preparatory programme, according to Israeli media

    Magen David Adom in the Negev Region received a report of approximately 25 teenagers who were swept away by a flash flood next to Tzafit River
    Magen David Adom in the Negev Region received a report of approximately 25 teenagers who were swept away by a flash flood next to Tzafit River

    Nine teenagers have been killed and one is missing after a flash flood swept them away in southern Israel.

    The 18-year-old hikers belonged to a group of around 25, who were taking part in a pre-army preparatory programme., according to Israeli media.

    Fifteen hikers were rescued in Nahal Tzafit, after they had been walking close to the Tzafit stream, near the Dead Sea, when the flood struck.

    The rescued teens were being treated for hypothermia at Soroka Medical Centre in Be’er Sheva.

    One of them told Israel’s Channel 10 news: "We were unable to escape the current and were swept away by the river.

    Last night army rescue helicopters were searching for the missing hiker, believed to be a young woman.

    Eli Bin, director general of the Magen David Adom medical rescue service said: "We are now in a race against time to find the missing [hiker] before it gets dark.”

    Israel's President Reuven Rivlin urged the public to follow instructions given by the police, after severe weather warnings were issued.

    He said: "Our prayers and thoughts are with our brothers, our children, and our loved ones who are in trouble. We are closely following the updates from the south and send a warm embrace to the worried families.”

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: "We are all praying for better news."

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