Tornado in Arkansas: one dead after a retirement home “rather destroyed” | Tornadoes


One person was killed when a tornado swept through an Arkansas nursing home, while a roof collapsed in an Amazon warehouse in Illinois, causing many injuries.

Craighead County Judge Marvin Day told The Associated Press the tornado struck Monette Manor nursing home in northeast Arkansas at around 8:15 p.m., killing one and trapping 20 people in inside as the building collapsed. Authorities previously reported at least two deaths.

About 90 minutes later, the building had been cleared and everyone suspected of having been inside had been found, but Day said crews still had to search the debris for possible additional casualties.

“Looks like it’s pretty much destroyed,” Day said of the building. “It happens quickly but apparently there was a bit of time with the tornado sirens going off.” Some residents were found in the basement “and were prepared for it,” he said.

Five people were seriously injured and a few others were slightly injured, he said. The retirement home has 86 beds.

Meanwhile, footage from St. Louis TV stations showed dozens of emergency vehicles at the Amazon hub near Edwardsville, Ill., About 40 miles west of St. Louis. It was not immediately clear whether or how many people were injured by the collapsed roof, but local emergency services called it a “mass incident” on Facebook. An official told KTVI-TV that up to 100 people were in the building, working nights, at the time of the collapse.

“The safety and well-being of our employees and partners is our top priority at this time,” said Amazon spokesperson Richard Rocha. “We are assessing the situation and will share additional information when it becomes available.”

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker said on Twitter that state police and disaster officials are coordinating with local Edwardsville officials and monitoring the situation.

The collapse occurred in the form of a severe thunderstorm, and possibly a tornado, which ravaged the St Louis area. Winds of up to 70 mph have been reported in parts of St Charles and St Louis counties in Missouri. At least three residents of St Charles County have been hospitalized and several homes in the area near Augusta, Missouri have been damaged.

It was not immediately clear whether the damage to the Amazon warehouse was caused by straight line storms or a tornado, but a large tornado was reported in the Edwardsville area around the time that the building was damaged. The National Weather Service office near St. Louis has issued reports of “radar confirmed tornadoes” in the Edwardsville area.

In fact, the weather services office workers themselves had to take refuge as another tornado passed near their office in Weldon Spring, Missouri, about 30 miles west of St. Louis. This tornado was believed to have destroyed several homes in the Missouri towns of New Melle and Defiance, leaving one dead and two injured. The National Weather Service office in suburban St. Louis confirmed the death, but no further information was immediately available.

Storms in Illinois, Missouri, and Arkansas were among several places that reported spotted or ground tornadoes. The storms caused additional damage as they swept through Tennessee and Kentucky.


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