A pile of rubble was all that remained of a candle factory in Mayfield, Kentucky, destroyed by a powerful tornado that also flattened much of the surrounding town.
Dozens were killed and rescue workers combed through the rubble of the factory Saturday morning, searching for survivors of the deadly storm — one of a series of tornadoes that tore through five states overnight, leaving a path of death and destruction across hundreds of miles.
There were at least 110 people inside the factory when the tornado struck around 10:30 p.m., WPSD reported. Gov. Andy Bashear said four different twisters had touched down across the state by early Saturday, according to the Louisville Courier Journal, and there was severe damage across at least four counties from one of the tornadoes that traveled more than 200 miles.
Early morning images posted on social media showed the town of about 10,000 people was leveled. Other towns in the powerful twisters’ paths were also severely damaged.
Harrowing videos posted on Facebook by a woman named Kyanna Lou, much in total darkness, depicted the wait for rescue inside the mangled building.
“I think they’re trying to get to us, but I’m really scared that I’ll be one of the last people that they get to,” she said in the video, which is nearly completely dark and peppered with the shouts and cries of others who were trapped and some who appear to be rescue workers.
“I cannot feel my legs,” she says at one point, explaining that she was pinned by a drinking fountain in the rubble. A few minutes later she uses the light on her phone to show her predicament. “I’m staying calm but I’m not OK,” she says, occasionally trying to comfort some coworkers near her.
“We got hit by a tornado and the building fell on us and we’re trapped,” she says matter of factly at one point in the 10-minute video when it appears she made a phone call. She promises to get out because it’s her 40th birthday Saturday and jokes about the new hairstyle she got for the celebration, and asks the person she’s speaking with to check on her kids but not tell them what happened to her.
“This building is a whole hot mess,” Kyanna adds.
In a second video, she is outside, walking in the rain with tears streaming down her face. “I’m out! I’m out! I’m OK!” she says as the wind whips around her.