One dead, dozens hurt as tornadoes hammer Ohio

Firefighters and rescue crews searching houses for people trapped or injured following powerful storms yesterday in the US state of Ohio. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Firefighters and rescue crews searching houses for people trapped or injured following powerful storms yesterday in the US state of Ohio. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

NEW YORK • Tornadoes pulverised western Ohio in the US early yesterday, killing one person, injuring scores of others and requiring emergency officials to send out snow ploughs to clear debris from a major highway, officials and media reports said.

At least one tornado hit Dayton and at least two touched down near the city, including one near Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, just east of the city, reports said.

An 81-year-old man was killed in Celina, a small city 105km north of Dayton, after a tornado sent a vehicle crashing into his home, Celina Mayor Jeffrey Hazel said at a news conference yesterday. Seven more people were injured in the storm, three of them seriously, he said.

At least 35 people in and around Dayton went to hospitals with injuries, most of them minor, said Ms Elizabeth Long, a spokesman for the Kettering Health Network.

"We've had injuries ranging form lacerations to bumps and bruises from folks being thrown around in their houses due to the storms," she said.

The latest storm follows tornadoes and floods which killed at least six people in Oklahoma in the previous week, including two people in El Reno last Saturday.

More than 60,000 homes and businesses in Ohio were left without power on Monday morning, according to the PowerOutage.US tracking service, and officials advised people to boil water after water plants and pumps went out of service.

 
 
 

On social media, residents shared photos and videos of the destruction throughout south-western Ohio.

Ms Tenley Taghi was in tears as she filmed what was left of her family's home.

Ms Taghi, who said there were no sirens before the tornado hit, told WDTN that a lamp post fell through her home and injured her father, who was pulled out by firefighters

"I saw the clouds spin backwards and the trees began to sway uncontrollably and we took shelter," she told WDTN.

"I was standing on the porch that's no longer standing. We took shelter right as the storm hit."

Meanwhile, flooded areas of Arkansas and Oklahoma were bracing themselves for more rain that will feed the already swollen Arkansas River, forecasters said on Monday. Arkansas, Oklahoma and Missouri have all activated National Guard units to respond to the storms.

REUTERS, WASHINGTON POST

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 29, 2019, with the headline 'One dead, dozens hurt as tornadoes hammer Ohio'. Print Edition | Subscribe