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World

15 Dec 2021

Killer Tornado left Kentucky Mountains of Debris and 74 Dead Bodies

The Index Today

On Tuesday, clean-up crews in western Kentucky's devastated communities worked together in clearing away mountains of debris left by last week's killer tornadoes as survivors congregate for warmth and support especially with those who have lost their loved ones.

In the heavily hit city of Mayfield, five families living together at the home of Reina Guerra Perez, swaddled in donated blankets and cooking on firewood.

"We're cooking out back using the wood from fallen trees and keeping food warm as best we can," she said. Her house survived, but the 26 people seeking shelter there on Tuesday had no access to running water or electricity.

The search for dead bodies are beyond the 74 known fatalities came up empty on Tuesday. The tornadoes' victims also included more than a dozen children, Beshear said, among them is a 2-month-old infant. The oldest to die was 98 years old, he said.

Governor Andy Beshear said at a briefing, "I still expect that we will find some more bodies. There is just so much destruction." Adding that more than 100 people were missing and eight victims were still unidentified.

Another 14 people died in four other states: six at an Amazon.com Inc warehouse in Illinois, four in Tennessee, two in Missouri and two in Arkansas.

More than 100 people were working at a candle factory in Mayfield, Kentucky, when the storm, which Beshear said "will probably be one of the most devastating tornado events in U.S. history," reduced the plant to rubble. Eight people were killed, far less than initially feared.

©Photo: Reuters/ Cheney Orr

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