At least eight people were killed near Utah's border with Arizona on Monday when flash floods triggered by heavy rain in nearby canyons swept them away in their cars, local officials said.

The floods swept through streets around the city of Hildale, Utah, and at least 16 people in different vehicles were believed to have been caught in them, said Hildale assistant fire chief Kevin Barlow.

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In a Facebook post, Washington County officials wrote of a "large wall of water."

Eight people were confirmed dead and one was being treated in hospital, Barlow said. Several others were still missing, and rescue crews were working to find trapped people and clear mud and debris from streets.