Search continues for 232 still missing in tornado's aftermath
Four days after America's deadliest tornado for six decades tore through this town, levelling buildings, tossing cars and peeling bark from every tree in its path, 232 people were still missing, officials said yesterday. The official death toll stood at 125.
The authorities appeared overwhelmed with the task of scouring the tornado's path – an area six miles long and nearly a mile wide – for survivors and victims, while drawing up lists of the dead and missing. With blocked streets and neighbourhoods strewn with impenetrable layers of wreckage, it remained impossible to determine whether all the dead had been found or if some survivors were still trapped.
"Look, that's my roof over there. There could be someone under there right now. I don't know," Jason Hobson, 36, said. He and his wife, Khya, rummaged through his house for belongings. With no roof and two outside walls missing, the home sits now in a sea of jumbled bricks, snapped tree limbs, steel sheeting and crumpled cars.
The city remains unable to give up the task of searching for survivors. "I am hopeful," the Joplin fire chief Mitch Randles said. "We've had stories from earthquakes and tsunamis and other disasters of people being found two or three weeks later, and we are hopeful we'll have a story like that to tell."
Part of the frustration for many families has been the fluctuating numbers of missing persons, which until yesterday had stood at 1,500. The figure was cut down to 232 as more people, many of whom fled town, have checked in with the authorities.
"Our goal is to get that number to zero," Andrea Spillars, deputy director of the state's Department of Public Safety, told reporters in a morning news conference. "We will dedicate as much state resources as needed around the clock to ensure those families who have loved ones that they cannot find are connected."
Among those still missing was Will Norton, the young man sucked through the sunroof of his father's Hummer as they drove home from a High School graduation ceremony late on Sunday afternoon. They were just short of the relative safety of their home when the tornado hit.
Finally finding someone can, of course, mean confirming a worst fear. A 16-month-old boy, Skyular Logsdon, who was ripped from his mother's arms during the tornado, was found dead in the area, his father confirmed just yesterday. The disappearance of the infant had made headlines worldwide.
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
Britain 'faces blackouts' unless green balance improves, leading engineer warns
The top 10 weirdest animal mating rituals
The otter man's empire
The ugliest animals on earth: Blobfish, axolotl and proboscis monkey battle it out to be named least attractive beast
A spotter's guide to a wild orchid summer
- 1 Stephen Fry ‘criticises Operation Yewtree in dinner party rant’ calling for tougher laws to deter false sex abuse allegations
- 2 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 3 Israel-Gaza conflict: ‘Sderot cinema’ image shows Israelis with popcorn and chairs 'cheering as missiles strike Palestinian targets'
- 4 L'Oreal cuts ties with Belgium supporter Axelle Despiegelaere after hunting trip photographs
- 5 War is war: Why I stand with Israel
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Web Developer ...
£50000 - £67000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# R&D .NE...
£40000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...
£55000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...