10 dead after flash floods in Israel; 2 arrested

April 27 (UPI) — Two employees of an Israeli military academy have been arrested over a hiking excursion that resulted in the deaths of 10 teenage students in flash floods, officials sad Friday.

Nine girls and a boy died Thursday after being swept away on the hike, in the Negev Desert following torrential rains.

Fifteen students were rescued — two with hypothermia.

A tenth victim was found and identified Friday. Officials said he was one of 25 students in the group, who were all due to enroll in the Bnei-Zion pre-military academy this year. The excursion was intended as a pre-program bonding experience.

Relatives and friends of the students gathered Thursday to mourn and prepare for the teens’ funerals, set to begin Friday.

A principal and instructor at the academy were arrested and questioned early Friday about why they didn’t heed flooding warnings in the area before the hike.

A third person was also questioned and placed under house arrest, police said.

Authorities warned all Israelis Friday to avoid the Dead Sea and Arava Desert regions, as more flooding was forecast after two days of heavy rains.