Dozens feared dead in Kentucky as tornadoes hit US states

At least 70 people were feared dead in Kentucky after tornadoes and severe weather tore through multiple states and caused widespread devastation.

In the state of Illinois, many people were trapped after a roof partially collapsed at an Inc warehouse on Friday, with two people confirmed dead, local authorities said.

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said at a news conference Saturday that the death toll may exceed 100.

“The level of devastation is unlike anything that I have ever seen,” Beshear said. “We were pretty sure that we would lose over 50 Kentuckians, I’m now certain that that number is north of 70. It may in fact end up exceeding 100 before the day is done.”

Beshear, who declared a state of emergency, said the strongest tornado tore 200 miles (322km) through the state, calling it the “most severe” in “Kentucky’s history”.At least four tornadoes touched down overnight across Kentucky, causing significant damage in more than a dozen counties. The primary tornado travelled more than 227 miles (365 km) across the state.

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.

The downtown of Mayfield resembled a pile of “matchsticks,” the small city’s mayor said on Saturday. “When I walked out of city hall this morning, it looked like matchsticks,” Mayor Kathy O’Nan told CNN network.

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