At least 50 people are dead after four tornadoes tore through the southeastern US state of Kentucky, its governor told reporters early Saturday, as several storms ravaged swathes of the country.
A number of counties in Kentucky were left devastated with the strongest tornado tearing through 200 miles of the state, Governor Andy Beshear said.
On the same night a storm ripped through a massive Amazon warehouse in the state of Illinois where around 100 workers were left trapped inside, local media reported.
“I fear that there are more than 50 dead … probably closer to somewhere between 70 and 100, it’s devastating,” Beshear said, adding that it was the “most severe tornado event in Kentucky’s history.”
In one incident, the roof of a candle factory collapsed, resulting in “mass casualties” in the city of Mayfield, the governor added.
Pictures and videos shared on social media from Mayfield showed buildings ripped apart by the storm, with bent metal, trees and dislodged bricks scattered across the streets and only the remnants of houses left behind.
Images of the tornadoes from US news channels showed a black cylinder sweeping across the ground, illuminated by intermittent blasts of lightning.
“Before midnight I declared a state of emergency,” Beshear said.
He added that scores of search and rescue officials had been deployed to save lives as power outages continued to hit the area.