The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Most workers escaped Kentucky candle factory, company says

Gentian Emini and his wife spent six years saving up to build a home for their family. It was nearly complete when the tornado hit. They lost everything. (Video: Mike Schuh, Alice Li/The Washington Post)
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Authorities were combing through debris in search of the dead and the missing Sunday after a tornado outbreak ripped through parts of the South and the Midwest late Friday and early Saturday. About 50 people have been confirmed dead in Kentucky, the state’s governor said.

Many of the fatalities were estimated to have occurred at a candle factory in Mayfield, Ky., that was flattened with about 110 people inside; a spokesperson for the company that owns it said more than 90 people had been found alive. Gov. Andy Beshear (D) said no one had been rescued there since Saturday morning.

The storms leveled more than 1,000 homes across the state, Beshear said, leaving a trail of destruction that authorities are struggling to assess.

Elsewhere in the region, a three-day search effort is expected at an Amazon warehouse in Illinois where six people died. In Arkansas, at least two people were killed, including a man in his 80s, after a tornado struck a nursing home where aides used their bodies as shields to protect residents. Tennessee reported three weather-related deaths and Missouri at least two, near St. Louis.

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