Twelve dead as Tropical Storm Claudette lashes southeast US

At least 12 people have been killed as Tropical Depression Claudette swept across the southeastern US, causing flash flooding and spurring tornadoes that destroyed dozens of homes.

Ten people, including nine children, were killed Saturday in a 15-vehicle crash about 35 miles (55 kilometres) south of Montgomery on Interstate 65, according to Butler County Coroner Wayne Garlock.

He said the vehicles likely hydroplaned on wet roads, with eight children, ages 4 to 17, killed in a van belonging to a youth ranch operated by the Alabama Sheriffs Association for abused or neglected children.

Two people died in separate vehicle, Garlock told local news outlets – 29-year-old Cody Fox and 9-month-old Ariana Fox, both of Marion County, Tennessee. Multiple people were also injured.

Meanwhile, a 24-year-old man and a 3-year-old boy were killed when a tree fell on their house Saturday just outside the Tuscaloosa city limits, Captain Marty Sellers of the Tuscaloosa Violent Crimes Unit told The Tuscaloosa News. Sellers did not immediately identify the victims and a medical examiner could not be reached early Sunday.

The deaths occurred as drenching rains pelted much of northern Alabama and Georgia late Saturday. As much as 12 inches (30 centimetres) of rain was reported earlier from Claudette along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

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