Boy, 14, missing after being swept away by flood in northern riverbed
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Boy, 14, missing after being swept away by flood in northern riverbed

Teen was riding an ATV with a friend near village of Yarka when they were caught in flash flood; one was rescued, search parties and divers looking for the other

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

An overturned quad bike pulled from a river bed after a flash flood swept away its two riders, leaving a boy, 14, missing, December 26, 2019 (Israel Fire and Rescue Services)
An overturned quad bike pulled from a river bed after a flash flood swept away its two riders, leaving a boy, 14, missing, December 26, 2019 (Israel Fire and Rescue Services)

A 14-year-old boy was missing Thursday after being swept away by a flash flood that poured through a dry riverbed in the north of the country, as he and a friend rode an all-terrain vehicle through the area.

The friend was rescued and the ATV was later recovered, overturned, from the water.

Large numbers of police and emergency services, including divers, formed search parties to look for the boy around the village of Yarka, where he went missing.

“Police are at the moment conducting searches in the area of Kfar Yarka following a report of a 14-year-old boy who was seen being swept away by flooding in a nearby river,” police said in a statement.

Rescuers reported there had been a strong water flow through the riverbed where the boy disappeared.

The two had gone out earlier in the day to ride the ATV off-road. An initial investigation indicated they had tried to ford the Ein Yifam riverbed, which runs between Yarka and Jatt, Channel 12 news reported.

The Magen David Adom ambulance service said it had received a report of an ATV that was washed away. Paramedics who arrived on the scene found a person in the water who required rescuing, MDA said.

The rescued person was said to be lightly injured. His age was not immediately clear.

The incident came amid a cold and wet snap that began Wednesday and saw strong winds and rain drive across most of the country, and in particular in the north.

In Ashdod a ship that was trying to dock in the port was swept onto an adjacent beach. Port authorities were working to refloat the ship. Environmental Protection Ministry inspectors found no indication of fuel leaks into the water.

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