• Wed. Oct 4th, 2023


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US tornadoes leave 11 dead, including one at Illinois music gig

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One person has been killed and dozens more injured after a storm caused a theatre roof to collapse in Illinois at a packed heavy metal gig on Friday.

Around 260 people were in the Apollo Theater, Belvidere, when the roof caved in at 19:55 local time (01:05 BST), the local fire department said.

Fire chief Shawn Schadle said that five people were in a serious condition.

A series of fierce tornadoes ripped through several US states on Friday, killing at least 18 people in total.

As well as in Illinois, deaths have also been reported in Tennessee, Arkansas, Alabama, Indiana and Mississippi.

In Arkansas’ state capital Little Rock, a major tornado tore through the city, flipping cars, smashing roofs and toppling trees.

Extensive damage was also reported in parts of the South and Midwest – with the states of Arkansas and Missouri declaring states of emergency. Tens of thousands were left without power.

More than 40 tornado reports were made across seven states on Friday night, according to the US government’s Storm Prediction Center.

Several flights at Chicago O’Hare International Airport were delayed or cancelled as passengers were told to take shelter due to what it described as “severe weather”.

Residents clean up on 31 March after a tornado hit Rolling Fork, Mississippi

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In Tennessee, Covington Mayor Jan Hensley pleaded with people not to “drive around” as power lines had been hit by storms.

The Covington Police Department described the city as “impassable” sharing photos of roads blocked by downed power poles and large trees toppled in front of homes.

Mrs Huckabee Sanders deployed the National Guard after what she described as “significant damage” in central Arkansas.

As of 20:30 local time, more than 70,000 in her state were without electricity, according to the US power outage website.

Friday’s night of deadly tornadoes comes just one week after a rare, long-track twister killed 26 people in Mississippi. President Joe Biden visited the state on Friday to pay his condolences and promise federal aid.

In a bulletin the Storm Prediction Center warned some of the projected tornadoes could track across the ground for long distances.

The Mississippi tornado last week travelled 59 miles (94km) and lasted about an hour and 10 minutes – an unusually long period of time for a storm to sustain itself. It damaged about 2,000 homes, officials said.

Additional reporting by Tiffany Wertheimer.

Map showing the states mainly affected by the story/ tornados

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