US woman and son flew in bathtub and survived tornado

Mrs Charlesetta Williams and her son were blown away by the tornado, in a bathtub, but survived.
Mrs Charlesetta Williams and her son were blown away by the tornado, in a bathtub, but survived. SCREENGRAB: CBS19
A television reporter shows viewers the bathtub that saved the lives of two people.
A television reporter shows viewers the bathtub that saved the lives of two people.SCREENGRAB: CBS19
Damage to Mrs Charlesetta Williams house in Louisiana by the tornado.
Damage to Mrs Charlesetta Williams house in Louisiana by the tornado.SCREENGRAB: CBS19

A bathtub saved the life of a 75-year-old woman and her son in a deadly storm that killed at least 19 people.

"A woman inside took shelter in a bathtub and the tornado lifted the tub out of the home and deposited it in the woods with the woman still in the tub but the woman was not injured," said a report from the National Weather Service forecast office in Shreveport, Louisiana that was dated Jan 21.

It turned out that Mrs Charlesetta Williams and her son were both in the tub and they escaped relatively unscathed, US media reports said.

They were both watching television when the twister descended on their home, local TV channel KSLA News said.

They then ran to the bathroom and hid under a blanket in the tub.

"I wasn't looking. I was under that quilt," Mrs Williams told KSLA. "I'm a tell you I don't wanna ride now through another one."

The back of her house was sheared off, Washington Post reported.

Meteorologists tell people to shelter in a bathtub during a tornado because it is heavy and typically well-secured.

They are frequently the only things left intact after a storm passes, though not in this case.

Thunderstorms and tornadoes left a path of destruction across Georgia, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi over the weekend.

That same tornado, packing winds of 130 mph (209 kmh), tossed a party barge 200m into a grove of trees.

Worst hit were the states of Georgia and Mississippi, where the storms and tornadoes killed 18, and injured 43, The New York Times reported on Monday (Jan 23).