Tornado damage: What we know about rescue efforts at Kentucky candle f…

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. — A devastating tornado sudden increase has killed dozens of people in the Midwest, and the most meaningful damage was seen at an occupied candle factory in Kentucky, an Amazon warehouse in Illinois and a nursing home in Arkansas.

Search and rescue teams are scouring the rubble at these sites in hopes of finding survivors but didn’t in addition have a number for how many have died.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear says he fears tornadoes have killed 70 people in the state and the death toll may go beyond 100.

SEE ALSO | at the minimum 50 people are likely dead following tornadoes in Kentucky, governor says

Here’s what we know about the damage at the factory, warehouse and nursing home and the hunt for survivors:

Mayfield candle factory

One of the most devastated sites is the southwestern Kentucky city of Mayfield, where a tornado hit a candle factory while people were working. About 110 people were inside, Beshear said.

He said crews rescued about 40 people so far.

“We’re going to lose a lot of lives,” Beshear said.

Video from Mayfield showed what remained of the factory: a enormous debris field, largely of twisted metal, several feet high, with rescuers using hands and machines to dig by.

Among the survivors was Kyanna Parsons-Perez, who said workers had been hustled to a safety area before the storm hit. While attendance was being taken, she saw “a little dust of wind.”

“My ears start popping. And it was like the building, we all just moved back and forth, and then expansion — everything fell on us,” Kyanna Parsons-Perez told CNN.

Pinned by debris with others, she used her phone to broadcast on Facebook Live, and called 911, her mother and a coworker’s relative. She knew rescuers were around only when she could feel pressure from above — people walking on the debris.

“I was screaming like, ‘Sir, can you please just get this so I can move my leg?’ He said, ‘Ma’am, there’s about 5 feet worth of debris on top of you.'”

Rescuers ultimately pulled her and others out, she said.

Ivy Williams was at the scene Saturday, looking for his wife of 30-plus years, who he says was at the factory.

“I hope she’s somewhere safe,” Williams said, by tears. “Please call me … I’m looking for you, baby.”

First responders have pulled “many, many” people out of the rubble, some alive and some seemingly dead, storm chaser Michael Gordon told CNN Saturday morning from the scene.

“It’s kind of hard to talk about. … They’re digging in that rubble by hand right now,” Gordon said.

People were working there, as the factory has been “going 24/7” in part to meet Christmastime candle need, US Rep. James Comer, who represents the area, told CNN.

Edwardsville Amazon warehouse

at the minimum two people are dead after harsh weather brought down the roof of an Amazon warehouse Friday night downstate near St. Louis, police said.

Officials said others were injured after the roof caved in at the facility near Edwardsville, Illinois. It’s believed a tornado was to blame.

Police said it’s nevertheless unknown how many people were in the building at the time of the collapse and how many people keep. The families of those inside the facility have said they are desperate for answers.

“We’re just worried sick,” said Sarah Biermann, whose husband works at the Amazon facility.

It is not closest clear how many people were hurt, but officials said one person was flown by helicopter to a hospital. Dozens of people were able to escape without serious injury, Police Chief Mike Fillback said.

Rescue crews are nevertheless sorting by the rubble to determine if anyone was retained inside, officials said. First responders are moving slowly to avoid injuries from hanging debris.

“We’re deeply saddened by the news that members of our Amazon family passed away as a consequence of the storm in Edwardsville, IL. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their loved ones, and everyone impacted by the storm. We also want to thank all the first responders for their current efforts on the scene. We’re continuing to provide sustain to our employees and partners in the area.” Kelly Nantel, an Amazon spokesperson, said in a statement.

Monette Manor nursing home

First responders at the scene of a nursing home damaged by harsh weather in Monette, Arkansas, where several people were retained inside, Dec. 11, 2021. (KAIT)

A tornado hit the Monette Manor nursing home in northeastern Arkansas on Friday night, killing one person and trapping 20 people inside as the building collapsed, Craighead County estimate Marvin Day said.

Five people had serious injuries, and a few others had minor ones, he said. The nursing home has 86 beds.

CNN Wire contributed to this report.

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