Kentucky Tornadoes: Dozens confirmed dead as search for victims continues

ITV News US Correspondent Emma Murphy has the latest on the search for survivors in the rubble

At least 80 people have died after a tornado outbreak roared across the middle of the US. A twister carved a track that could rival the longest on record as the stormfront smashed apart a candle factory, crushed a nursing home and flattened an Amazon distribution centre.

The governor of Kentucky Andy Beshear, said “more than 80” people had been killed in the path of a tornado stretching at least 200 miles.He said: “We are praying that maybe original estimates of those we have lost were wrong. If so, it’s going to be pretty wonderful.

The governor outlined the "devastating" impact the tornado has had on the state, with nothing in the direct line of the tornado "still standing."

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear says the tornado is the 'most devastating' in the state's history

He said: "This is Kentucky's most devastating tornado event in our history. We have lost far too many of our brothers and sisters."

Eight people are confirmed dead at a Kentucky candle factory that was hit and another eight remain missing, but dozens more have been accounted for, a company spokesman said on Sunday.“We had to, at times, crawl over casualties to get to live victims,” said Jeremy Creason, the city’s fire chief and EMS director.

'I feel like it's a nightmare' ITV News spoke to a woman who lost her mother in the storm

He continued: "To the people of America there is no lens big enough to show you the extent of the damage her in Graves County or in Kentucky.

"Nothing standing in the direct line of this tornado is still standing."

Rubble and debris from destroyed buildings cover the ground on Sunday after a monstrous tornado swept through Kentucky

Emergency workers at the site of a candle factory where workers were killed beneath the collapsing roof. Credit: AP

Credit: AP

In Kentucky alone, 22 were confirmed dead by late Saturday.

Dog owners rescue pet Cheyenne from the rubble. Credit: AP
A box of belongings is retrieved from the devastation of a home in Mayfield. Credit: AP

The death toll of 36 across five states includes six people in Illinois, where an Amazon facility was hit; four in Tennessee; two in Arkansas, where a nursing home was destroyed; and two in Missouri.

If early reports are confirmed, the twister “will likely go down perhaps as one of the longest track violent tornadoes in United States history,” said Victor Genzini, a researcher on extreme weather at Northern Illinois University said.

Before and after the tornado hit an Amazon warehouse in Illinois. Six people died when the roof of the building was ripped off. Credit: MAXAR/AP
The remains of a building after the storm swept through. Credit: AP

President Joe Biden approved an emergency disaster declaration for Kentucky on Saturday and pledged to support the affected states. “I promise you, whatever is needed — whatever is needed — the federal government is going to find a way to provide it,” Biden said.

Drone footage over Bowling Green shows path of destruction

People survey damage from the tornadoes. Credit: AP