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At least 15 dead after storms wreak destruction in US

Powerful storms killed at least 15 people and left a wide trail of destruction across Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas after obliterating homes and destroying a truck stop where dozens sought shelter during the latest deadly weather to strike the central US.

Seven deaths were reported in Cooke County, Texas, near the Oklahoma border, where a tornado on Saturday night ploughed through a rural area near a mobile home park, officials said.

Storms also killed two people and destroyed houses in Oklahoma, where the injured included guests at an outdoor wedding.

Tens of thousands of residents were without power across the region.

“It’s just a trail of debris left. The devastation is pretty severe,” Cooke County Sheriff Ray Sappington said.

Officials said multiple people were transported to hospitals by ambulance and helicopter in the Texas county of Denton, but they did not immediately know the full extent of the injuries.

Mr Sappington said the dead in Texas included three family members who were found in one home near the small community of Valley View.

At least two people were reported killed in Arkansas, including a 26-year-old woman who was found dead outside a destroyed home in Olvey, a small community in Boone County, according to Daniel Bolen, with the county’s Office of Emergency Management.

Another person died in Benton County, Arkansas.

Melody Kwok, a county communications director, said multiple other people were injured and that emergency workers were still responding to calls.

“We are still on search and rescue right now,” she said. “This is a very active situation.”

Officials also confirmed two deaths in Mayes County, Oklahoma.

Details about the dead were not immediately available, said Mike Dunham, the county’s deputy director of emergency management.

The destruction continued a grim month of deadly severe weather in the nation’s midsection.

Tornadoes in Iowa this week left at least five people dead and dozens injured. – AP



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