IDF, police, and other professionals and volunteers launched an urgent search effort after a group of school children fell victim to torrential rains in the Negev during a school trip. 13 students were extricated safely, while two remain missing. The wounded children were evacuated to Soroka University Medical Center in Be’er Sheva; the incident has been declared a mass-casualty incident.
Medics also evacuated an 18-year-old boy and girl to the hospital after suffering from hypothermia and minor injuries.
The downpour made its way to the Ramat Negev Regional Council, sweeping across the city of Dimona. Some southern cities, including Eilat, experienced golf ball-sized hailstones. Streams, mud and debris gathered on the runway of Eilat Airport, leading authorities to close the airport to all departures and landings.
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said that the government is closely following the incident. Everyone is being urged to follow the instructions of the police and search and rescue forces both to help those swept up by the currents and to prevent a recurrence.
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