Vier scouts kwamen om en een twaalftal anderen raakte gewond toen een tornado een scoutskamp in westelijk Iowa vernielde. Het kamp ligt ongeveer halfweg tussen Sioux City, Iowa en Omaha, in Nebraska.
Lloyd Roitstein, voorzitter van de lokale scoutsvereniging, zei op de televisiezender CNN dat het kamp Little Sioux Scout Ranch van 730 hectares "zo goed als volledig vernield werd" door de tornado.
Reddingswerkers zijn nog steeds op zoek naar overlevenden. CNN meldde dat er 123, inclusief volwassen opzichters, op het afgelegen kamp verbleven. De scoutsleden, tussen 14 en 18 jaar oud, waren in het kamp voor een verblijf van een week.
Officials say about 40 injured as storm slams camp for leadership training
BLENCOE, Iowa - A tornado tore through a Boy Scout camp in the remote hills of western Iowa on Wednesday, killing at least four people and injuring 40, and setting off a frantic search to reach others in the piles of debris and downed trees. Most of the injured had been on a hike when the tornado struck, authorities said, leaving them without protection from the deadly winds. A search and rescue team deployed after the 7 p.m. twister had to cut their way through branches during a lightning storm to reach the camp where the 93 boys, ages 13 to 18, and 25 staff members were attending a weeklong leadership training camp. "All of the buildings are gone; most of the tents are gone; most of the trees are destroyed," Lloyd Roitstein, president of the Boy Scouts of Mid-America Council, told CNN. "You've got 1,800 acres of property that are destroyed right now." Iowa Gov. Chet Culver said three people were unaccounted for, but a spokesman for the rescuers, Russ Lewrenson, said all the victims had been found.
Little time for warning
The weather service had issued two warnings minutes before the tornado hit, Culver said, but it wasn't clear whether the camp had sirens. "Based on what we were seeing on radar it looked like it could have been a very powerful tornado," said Daniel Nietfeld with the National Weather Service. At least 40 people who were injured in the storm were being taken to area hospitals, said Iowa Homeland Security spokeswoman Julie Tack. Most of the kids who were hurt were out on a hike when the tornado hit, said Lewrenson, of the Mondamin Fire Department. Burgess Health Center in Onawa, Iowa, had treated 19 people from the camp and were warned to expect a bus carrying up to 45 more with cuts and bruises, said spokeswoman Beth Frangedakis. The ranch about 40 miles north of Omaha, Neb., includes hiking trails through narrow valleys and over steep hills, a 15-acre lake and a rifle range. The camp was being secured by the National Guard and police. Gayle Jessen of Fremont, Neb., said her 19-year-old son Zach is a staff leader at the camp. He called his parents to say he had a bruise on an arm and was being treated at a hospital. "I'm so relieved my son is OK," Jessen said. She said her husband was headed to the hospital to pick up their son. Lewrenson said parents will be reunited with their children at an undisclosed location. David Hunt, chairman of the Mid-America Boy Scout Council's Goldenrod District, which covers several eastern Nebraska counties, said he believed the boys were from eastern Nebraska and western Iowa. The 1,800-acre ranch is about 15 minutes east of Interstate 29, near Little Sioux. Its amenities include hiking trails through narrow valleys and over steep hills, a 15-acre lake and a rifle range.
String of twisters
The tornado touched down as Iowa's eastern half grappled with flooding in several of its major cities. The storm threatened to stretch Iowa's emergency response teams even further. Tack said officials were confident that the state's emergency response teams could handle the crisis because western Iowa had been largely unaffected by the recent flooding. Tornadoes also touched down in southern Minnesota and eastern Nebraska. A tornado ripped a house from its foundation, leaving a bathtub protruding from a back wall near Fulda, Minn., 140 miles southwest of Minneapolis. A woman inside at the time suffered a knee injury. Another struck a farm near Springfield, Minn., causing extensive damage to outbuildings, but causing no injuries to people or livestock. Other tornadoes in Minnesota damaged trees, pushed a manufactured house off its foundation and knocked down outbuildings. There were no immediate reports of damage from the Nebraska twisters, though a lightning strike knocked out radar at the National Weather Service's office in Valley, about 30 miles northwest of Omaha.
Bron: MSNBC | Gewijzigd: 1 februari 2017, 15:55 uur, door Joyce.s