Kentucky morgues at full capacity after recent wave of tornadoes

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recent wave of tornadoes
NWS St. Louis, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Kentucky morgues are at full capacity after the devastation caused by the recent wave of tornadoes.

Just this Sunday, after hours and hours of unsuccessful searching, the authorities of the North American states of Kentucky, Illinois, Arkansas, Missouri, Mississippi and Tennessee began to evaluate the real extent of the damage and destruction caused by the wave of 30 tornadoes that struck when a storm travelled across the United States from southeast to northeast over Friday night.

The authorities believe that the number of deaths exceeds one hundred, although there is still no definitive data and dozens of people are missing beneath the rubble. Mass blackouts in the affected zones have made the search more difficult.

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The governor of Kentucky, Andy Beshear, said on Sunday that he expected the number of deaths to be more than 100.

“One of our challenges is we’re losing so many people in this, most of our morgues aren’t big enough, so our coroners from all over the state are coming in,” said Beshear. He has asked citizens to stay at home to leave the roads free for emergency workers.

Kentucky is the state most affected by the tornadoes, with at least 80 deaths confirmed so far. One of the 30 tornadoes touched down in the state over a distance of more than 320 kilometres. Hot air is needed in order for tornadoes to form, which is why it is unusual that such tornadoes have occurred during winter.


A significant portion of the deaths occurred at a candle factory in the area of Mayfield, Kentucky. The roof collapsed when there were around 110 people inside. Yesterday the local press reported that the instructions given when the alarm sounded were to remain within the building, which had concrete walls around 27 centimetres thick. Of the 110 employees, only around 40 were rescued.

In other states affected, there have also been numerous deaths, in other factories and even in homes for the elderly. Six people died in an Amazon warehouse.

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