US tornado: Three dead, dozens injured as cyclone causes widespread damage, including roof collapse during concert | US News

Two people were killed and dozens were injured as tornadoes ripped through Little Rock, Arkansas, and surrounding U.S. towns Friday afternoon.

Elsewhere, a theater roof in Belvidere, Illinois, collapsed in another tornado, killing a third person as 28 people were injured as the Midwest battled powerful and damaging storms.

The collapse occurred during a heavy metal concert at the Apollo Theater in Belvidere, about 70 miles northwest of Chicago.

governor Arkansas Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed that two people were killed in the tornado, with several others reportedly trapped in the devastation.

Tornadoes also caused extensive damage to homes, overturned cars and uprooted trees.

The total number of injured is unknown. About 90,000 customers in the state experienced power outages.

Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. tweeted: “Currently, we know of 24 people hospitalized in Little Rock Hospital, and we are not aware of any deaths in Little Rock.”

Baptist Health Medical Center in the neighboring town of North Little Rock separately reported that it was treating 11 patients from the storm, including one in critical condition.

Other towns farther away from Little Rock also reported widespread damage and casualties.

Police Chief Richard Dennis of Wayne Township, about 100 miles east of Little Rock, told a local TV station that “the whole town was completely destroyed” and dozens of people were trapped.

The tornado was caused by one of several severe thunderstorms that hit the southern and midwestern United States — home to some 85 million people.

The destructive storm system also sparked other tornadoes in Iowa, destructive hail in Illinois and windswept grass fires in Oklahoma.

People were urged to evacuate parts of Oklahoma City to escape the fire.

Meteorologists are predicting another batch of powerful storms for the same large area next Tuesday.

The deadly tornado came as President Joe Biden inspected the aftermath of another deadly tornado that hit Mississippi a week earlier. It killed at least 21 people and damaged some 2,000 homes.

Members of the media ask U.S. President Joe Biden a question as he walks to Marine One helicopter on his way to Mississippi to view damage from a tornado at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 31, 2023. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
US President Joe Biden visited Mississippi, where tornadoes killed 21 last week

Gov. Huckabee Sanders mobilized 100 members of the Arkansas National Guard to help local authorities respond to the devastation across the state.

Ms Hucakabee Sanders, who declared the state of emergency, tweeted: “Prayers for all who were and are still in the path of this storm.”

“As the storm continues to hit, Arkansans must continue to be weather aware.”

In Little Rock, Niki Scott, a local, hid in the bathroom after her husband called to say a tornado was heading her way.

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The Aftermath of Last Week’s Mississippi Tornadoes

She could hear glass shattering as the tornado whizzed by, and she came out afterwards to find her house one of the few trees on her street that hadn’t fallen.

“It was like everyone said. It got really quiet and then it got really loud,” Ms Scott said afterward, as the sirens went off as chainsaws roared through the area.

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