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Missouri officials say tornado killed at least 89

Mike Gullett
Monday, May 23, 2011 - 10:14am

From the Longview News-Journal:

JOPLIN, Mo. -- A massive tornado that tore a 6-mile path across southwestern Missouri killed at least 89 people as it slammed into the city of Joplin, ripping into a hospital and leaving a forest of splintered tree trunks behind where entire neighborhoods once stood.

Authorities warned that the death toll could climb Monday as search and rescuers continued their work at sunrise.

City manager Mark Rohr announced the number of known dead at a pre-dawn news conference outside the wreckage of a hospital that took a direct hit from Sunday's storm. Rohr said the twister cut a path nearly 6 miles long and more than a half-mile wide through the center of town, adding that tornado sirens gave residents about a 20-minute warning before the tornado touched down on the city's west side.

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