More than 50 feared dead after one of Kentucky’s worst tornadoes

More than 50 feared dead after one of Kentucky’s worst tornadoes

A devastating outbreak of tornadoes ripped through Kentucky and several other US states, killing dozens of people and leaving a trail of destroyed buildings along a path that stretched more than 321km, officials said on Saturday.

At least four tornadoes touched down overnight across Kentucky, causing significant damage in more than a dozen counties. The primary tornado travelled more than 365 km across the state, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said.

The death toll could exceed 50 people and could reach up to 100 people, he told an early morning news conference.

“The reports are really heartbreaking,” he said. “This has been one of the toughest nights in Kentucky history and some areas have been hit in ways that is hard to put into words.”

Some of the worst destruction was in Mayfield in western Kentucky. About 110 people were inside a candle factory in the area when the tornado ripped through, taking down the roof, Beshear said.

“It is tragic. We believe we will lose at least dozens of those individuals,” he said.

Video and photos posted on social media but not yet verified as authentic by Reuters showed brick buildings in downtown Mayfield reduced to rubble, with parked cars nearly buried under bricks and debris. The steeple on the Graves County courthouse in Mayfield appeared to have been toppled, photos on Twitter showed.

In the early hours, more than 56,000 people in Kentucky were without power, Beshear said. He declared a state of emergency and was deploying dozens of national guardsman to communities.

“It appears that this is going to be a quad state event, all out of the same system, originating in Arkansas, through Missouri, Tennessee and into Kentucky,” Kentucky Emergency management director Michael Dorsett said.

In Illinois, police said there were “confirmed fatalities” after a roof partially collapsed at an Inc warehouse in the town of Edwardsville late on Friday.

Rescue workers were searching fo

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