4 dead after tornado rips through Mississippi

2017-01-21 23:41
A dog stands in a pile of debris after a tornado struck Hattiesburg in the American state of Mississippi. (Susan Broadbridge, AP)

A dog stands in a pile of debris after a tornado struck Hattiesburg in the American state of Mississippi. (Susan Broadbridge, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Hattiesburg - Four people were killed, roofs were ripped from homes and churches and trees were torn from the earth on Saturday when a tornado hitting in the dark of night ripped through a region in southern Mississippi, officials said.

Four people died after the twister blew through the city and surrounding area, said Forrest County Coroner Butch Benedict. The twister was part of a wall of stormy weather travelling across the region, bringing with it rain and unstable conditions.

Authorities have not yet released the names of the four people who died. But at least one family had already gotten the horrific news. Monica McCarty said her father died in the same trailer park where she and her boyfriend live and her son was apparently crushed to death while in bed at her mother's house where he lived.

Standing amid the carnage the tornado had wrought, McCarty wept as her boyfriend, Tackeem Molley, comforted her.

"They couldn't get him out of the house. They said he had been in bed," McCarty said of her son.

Molley said he and McCarty were in a trailer when the storm hit. Molley, whose bare foot was bandaged, said he climbed out through a hole in what had either been the trailer's roof or wall.

"I had a little hole I could squeeze out of," he said.

In the surrounding neighborhood, power company trucks were running up and down the streets. A city backhoe was plowing debris from the road. Dozens of homes were damaged.

Sheet metal was strewn everywhere. Trees turned into spindly sticks were lying across power lines, and the roar of chain saws could be heard in the background. At least three nearby churches had sustained some type of damage.

Mayor Johnny DuPree has signed an emergency declaration for the city, which reported "significant injuries" and structural damage.

The search for the dead and injured continued as the sun rose. More than 40 firefighters from across Mississippi had gathered outside Hattiesburg police headquarters to search. Equipped with dogs and all-terrain vehicles, they were planning on doing a grid search from police headquarters to nearby William Carey University in one of the most heavily damaged areas.



Read more on:    us  |  weather

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.