Thursday’s hike to the Dead Sea area, in which nine pre-army academy students were killed in a flooding, was carried out despite repeated police warnings from the past several days.

Rescue forces on the scene
Video credit: Uriel Gur David, Radio Darom

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Police say they issued warnings over the past days urging the public not to visit the Dead Sea area due to the heavy rain forecast.

Addressing Thursday’s flooding, in which nine Israeli teenagers were killed during a hike near Nahal Tzafit, Israel Police spokesperson Merav Lapidot said forces are “doing their best” to locate the student who is still missing and are “hoping for some good news at the end of this day.”

“We’ve released warnings and asked the public not to come to the area,” she added. “Unfortunately, these things happen when our instructions are not followed.” This tragedy, she said, “could have been prevented.”

The nine fatalities were all students from a pre-army academy in central Israel. Of the 25 students who went on the hike, nine were killed, two others taken to hospital suffering from cold-related injuries and 13 rescued. Forces are still searching for the last missing student.