More than 50 people are believed to have died in Kentucky after one of the deadliest tornado events in the state’s history, with hundreds trapped in a factory in Mayfield.
According to Governor Andy Beshear, the death toll could reach hundreds because Mayfield County, Graves was destroyed after level five tornado swept across the state in the late hours of December 10.
More than 30 tornadoes have been reported in at least six states. with a 200-mile stretch from Arkansas to Kentucky hit by a long, violent stretch.
The extent of the devastation will not be fully known for hours, but videos have emerged showing buildings flattened, vehicles overturned and workers scouring debris for people trapped.
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear declared a state of emergency after voicing his concerns during a news conference earlier today.
“We believe our death toll from this event will exceed 50 Kentuckians, perhaps closer to 70 to 100 people lost their lives,” he said.
Mayfield is believed to have been hardest hit, as a tornado wiped out a candle factory on Friday night where about 110 people were trapped, as Governor Bershear added: “We’re on our side. believe we will lose at least dozens of such individuals.”
Video from Mayfield shows what’s left of the factory: a giant field of debris, mostly twisted metal, several feet high.
Other buildings attacked in Mayfield, a city of about 10,000 people, included the Graves County courthouse and the adjoining prison.
A video emerged of a woman trapped in a candle factory in Mayfield, telling her followers “I’m scared” as she says she hopes her children will do not watch videos.
Kyanna Parsons-Perez, who was rescued from the building, told NBC about the terrifying challenge.
She said everyone was “getting under, covering up” and then suddenly her ears started ringing: “like, you know when you’re on a plane?”
Then, she said, the lights went out “and then before you know it, it’s like the building shakes and collapses and we fall.” compare the factory to a “house of cards”.
She said people inside the factory were “screaming and praying,” when she said she thought she was going to die.
Kentucky emergency management director Michael Dossett added that this was “one of the darkest days in the history of the state.”
“This is going to be one of the most significant, largest-scale disasters that Kentucky has ever faced,” he said.
Bearshear concluded his press conference, saying: “We will get through this. We will rebuild, we are strong, resilient people.”
He said four tornadoes, one of which lay more than 200 miles on the ground after touching down, have swept the state leaving nearly 60,000 Kentuckers without power.
Among the most significant damage, an Amazon warehouse in western Illinois collapsed, killing 100 workers inside, and a nursing home in Arkansas collapsed, killing one person.
The total number of people killed is still unknown. Three people have been confirmed dead in Tennessee, with one confirmed in Missouri, as flash flooding is causing significant damage to counties across Kentucky.
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https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/17009963/tornados-devastate-mayfield-kentucky-fears-dozens-are-dead/ Tornadoes wreak havoc in Mayfield, Kentucky, with fears ‘dozens’ of people killed after candle factory collapses with 110 people inside