However, from personal experience, I realize that many of these folks who were injured or killed were probably curious to see the twister and went out with their camcorders and unfortunately got more than they bargained for.
Several Killed in Indiana, Kentucky Tornado
Sunday, November 06, 2005
EVANSVILLE, Ind. — Fifteen people were killed and about 200 injured early Sunday when a tornado ripped through Kentucky and Indiana as rescuers sought to release residents trapped in their homes and about 25,000 were without power, local officials said.
At the Eastbrook Mobile Home Park on the southeast side of Evansville, Ind., 10 people were confirmed dead, as well as five others in Warrick County, Ind.
Affected areas include Henderson County, Kentucky, and the southern Indiana counties of Vanderburgh and Warrick.
Those killed in Warrick County include a teenage girl and a small child who died as they took shelter with their family in their modular home. “It was immediately in the path of the tornado,” Warrick County Sheriff Marvin Heilman said of the twister that hit there around 1:30 a.m. EDT.
Emergency personnel were going through the county to check on residents.
"We’re going door to door and street to street to clear the houses,” Heilman said.
“There are several hundred houses” that were completely destroyed.
“Tornadoes are not horribly uncommon here … but usually not of this magnitude," he said.
The worst damage hit the south and northeast parts of the county, Sue Buchanan of the Warrick County sheriff's department told FOX News in a telephone interview.
"We’ve had considerable damage. ... We’re trying to assess all the damage and take it from there," Buchanan said.
About 200 emergency workers were called to the trailer park fatalities — two near the community of Degonia Springs and one near the village of Yankeetown.
"We're treating the trailer park as a mass disaster area," Eric Williams, chief deputy of the Vanderburgh County Sheriff's department, told the Evansville Courier & Press.
Indiana homeland security spokeswoman Pam Bright said 10 people died on the southeast side of Evansville in the Eastbrook Mobile Home Park and that victims were still being pulled from the debris by late morning.
Bright said the park, with about 350 homes, was devastated by the twister.
Residents in the affected areas had little warning before the tornadoes struck in the very early morning hours. “It was pretty much a complete surprise,” said Michael Hart, spokesman for Deaconess Hospital in Evansville, about 10 miles to 15 miles from the trailer park.
Some 15 patients admitted to Deaconess Hospital were in critical condition Sunday morning, Hart told FOX News, but “most of them have just been minor injuries.”
“We haven’t had any fatalities at Deaconess Hospital,” he said.
Those seeking loved ones affected by the severe weather may call a hotline set up by the hospital, 812-450-7200.
Damage was reported at the Ellis Park racetrack, between Evansville and Henderson, Ky. The Henderson County Sheriff's department reported that about half of the track's grandstands had been destroyed, as well as horse barns and housing units on the back side of the track.
Paul Kuerzi, the track's vice president and general manager, said that several people had been injured at Ellis Park and a number of horses killed.
Witnesses said the tornado touched down first near Henderson, and then hopped across the Ohio River into Indiana.
Mike Roeder, a spokesman for local utility company Vectren, said 25,000 homes were without power early Sunday morning, mostly in Warrick County. There also were reports of natural gas leaks.
Because of storm damage in the area, the National Weather Service office in Paducah, Ky., was unreachable by telephone for several hours.