January 26, 2022

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Kentucky tornado latest news: Death toll climbs to 74 including six children as map shows twister’s path – The Independent

6 min read
Watch live as Kentucky governor discusses deadly tornadoes

The death toll from tornadoes that ripped through six states on Friday night may well surpass 100 in Kentucky alone, the governor warned.

Gov Andy Beshear suggested that the event was the most devastating tornado event in the state’s history, with 74 confirmed dead and 100 still missing as of Monday afternoon.

Dozens more deaths have been confirmed across Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee and Illinois, where workers were trapped in an Amazon warehouse when it collapsed, killing six people.

A map from the National Weather Service shows one supercell, which may have been a single tornado or a family of them, which is believed to have carved a 250-mile path across four states, potentially shattering a 1925 record.

Among the confirmed victims of the tornadoes are 43-year-old Kentucky judge Brian Crick, 84-year-old Missouri grandmother Ollie Borgmann, 46-year-old Amazon worker Larry Virden in Illinois and two children ages three and five in Kentucky.

At an emotional press conference on Monday, Gov Beshear said the victims in his state ranged in age from five months old to 86 years old – with six under the age of 18.

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All candle factory workers now accounted for

All workers that were inside the Mayfield candle factory when it was hit by a tornado are now accounted for, according to reports.

A factory spokesman confirmed to the Louisville Courier Journal that all 110 workers on shift are now accounted for, with 102 surviving. He said the fact that only eight were killed was a “miracle situation”.

Io Dodds14 December 2021 02:25

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Dawson Springs mayor says homeless residents have nowhere to shelter

The mayor of Dawson Springs, Kentucky, has said there is nowhere for residents to shelter after their homes were destroyed by the tornadoes.

Mayor Chris Smalley told CNN on Monday night: “We’re hoping FEMA [the Federal Emergency Management Agency] comes in here and tries to set up something here.

“We are a small town as well as also a small area as well. So, it’s gonna be hard to find a place to put the temporary housing and stuff.”

Io Dodds14 December 2021 01:48

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Candle factory workers claim they were not allowed to leave shifts early

Workers at a Kentucky candle factory that was destroyed by tornados last week say they were told they would be fired if they tried to leave their shifts early, according to reports. At least four workers at the Mayfield Consumer Products factory in Mayfield, Kentucky told NBC News that bosses refused them permission to leave the building even as warning sirens began to wail. At least eight people died in the factory when it was torn apart on Friday night.

A spokesman for the Company categorically denied that employees had been threatened with firing or told not to leave.

Io Dodds14 December 2021 01:23

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‘This isn’t a natural disaster,’ climate scientist says

A respected climate scientist has raised alarm that this weekend’s tornadoes were the result of global warming, not a random weather event.

Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University, issued his warning on Democracy Now!’s The War and Peace Report on Monday.

“We tend to call these things natural disasters, but this isn’t a natural disaster,” he said. “This is a disaster that was exacerbated by human-caused climate change.”

Mr Mann continued: “Make no mistake, we have been seeing an increase in these massive tornado outbreaks that can be attributed to the warming of the planet.

“But what’s going to happen here, we’re going to continue to see that climate change is going to combine with natural factors, like the La Niña event that we’re experiencing, to produce ever more extreme examples of these sorts of phenomena.”

Megan Sheets14 December 2021 01:00

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Five victims remain unidentified

Five of the 74 confirmed fatalities in Kentucky have yet to be identified, Gov Beshear said at a press conference on Monday afternoon.

A further 109 people remain missing across the state. The governor has said it could take weeks to finalise the death toll due to the mountain of wreckage faced by search crews.

Watch the governor’s emotional update below:

Watch live as Kentucky governor discusses deadly tornadoes

Megan Sheets14 December 2021 00:30

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ICYMI: What we know about the tornado victims

The death toll from Friday’s storms rose to 88 on Monday afternoon as 10 new fatalities were confirmed in Kentucky.

The Independent’s Gustaf Kilander explains everything we know about the victims so far:

Megan Sheets14 December 2021 00:00

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VOICES: Why climate change won’t unravel like you think it will

In the wake of Friday’s devastating storms, many have pointed the finger of blame at climate change.

Scientists say it’s too early to know if that’s actually the case, but that’s not a reason to balk at the possibility. The Independent’s Louise Boyle explains:

Megan Sheets13 December 2021 23:30

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ICYMI: Jeff Bezos under fire for response to tornado tragedy

Jeff Bezos has been criticised on social media for continuing to cheer on his latest venture in space tourism amid the aftermath of a deadly tornado at an Amazon warehouse.

At least six people were killed at the Amazon distribution centre in Edwardsville, Illinois after a tornado led to the collapse of the building on Friday night.

There was initially no reaction to the news from Mr Bezos online, however, as the billionaire instead dedicated his social media posts to Saturday’s launch of the New Shepard rocket with six space tourists, including Laura Shepard Churchley, the daughter of first US astronaut Alan Shepard after whom the rocket is named.

“Happy crew this morning in the training centre,” said Mr Bezos in an Instagram post on Saturday morning. The crew also included former NFL star and Good Morning America host Michael Strahan, as well as four other paying customers.

“You should worry about the tornado situation more,” wrote one user in response to the post.

“Will any of your Amazon workers ever take the flight?” slammed another.

The Independent’s Namita Singh reports:

Megan Sheets13 December 2021 23:00

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Feds to investigate tornado response at Illinois Amazon warehouse

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is launching an investigation into the Amazon facility in Illinois where six workers were killed when a tornado collapsed its roof on Friday.

A spokesperson for the company responded to reports of the investigation by telling CNBC: “OSHA investigates all workplace fatalities and we are supporting them.”

Employees at the distribution centre in Edwardsville were instructed to take cover at around 8.16pm on Friday, Amazon has said.

A twister was believed to have formed in the centre’s parking lot before carving a path through it – trapping dozens of workers inside.

The family of one victim, Larry Virden, alleged that workers were denied the chance to evacuate earlier, The Independent’s Shweta Sharma reports:

Megan Sheets13 December 2021 22:30

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Governor’s wife announces toy drive

Governor Beshear’s wife Britainy joined him at his press conference on Monday afternoon to announce the creation of the Western Kentucky Toy Drive.

“We want to help parents and guardians – despite this devastation – make the holidays special for their kids,” she said.

“I want to thank our number one partner in this effort – who I know can’t wait to visit KY soon – Santa Claus. I know our people are going to come together to make Toys for Western KY an incredible success.”

Toy donations can be made by mail or at several drop-off sites around the state. More details are available here.

Megan Sheets13 December 2021 22:00

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