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Tornado survivor says ‘all you could hear were screams’ as twister ripped through homes killing 100 including toddler

A TORNADO survivor said “all they could hear were screams” as a devastating twister killed at least 100 people including a toddler.

Dozens are missing and towns were left in ruin after storms hit four states in four hours overnight on Friday including Kentucky, Arkansas, Missouri, and Tennessee.

The twister flattened a candle factory in Mayfield where around 110 employees were on a night shift.

Valeria Yanis told USA Today that she hid under a water fountain as employees rushed to the bathroom for cover.

She said: “We couldn't see anything. Everyone was panicking. “Everything fell on us. Roof, metal, and rocks. We were all trapped. There were so many screams.”

Valeria found a tunnel and crawled outside. She suffered injuries to her head, shoulder, and leg.

Meanwhile, Lora Capps was on her tenth day at the factory and she took shelter with a janitor when the storm hit. The pair fell into a hole under the debris.

She told ABC News: “He kept saying ‘I can’t breathe’ and I said ‘I’m trying’.

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“I just want his family to know I tried my best. I said ‘Just go be with God and I’ll probably be following you.”

Lora was found by a man who had a flashlight and she was reunited with her son.

Read our tornado warning live blog for the very latest news and updates…

She thinks the event will “traumatize” her for the rest of her life.

Another employee, known only as Dakota, recalled the moment debris started falling on him and his co-workers.

He told ABC that he found people with broken legs as he managed to dig his way out of the rubble.

Officials fear the death toll in Kentucky is likely to pass 100.

Mayfield resident Jamel Alubahr, 25, said his three-year-old nephew died in the storm.

Neighbor Angela Wheeler described how she saw the boy’s family screaming for help from their leveled home.

She told WLWT5 her home twisted off its foundation, trapping the family in the basement before they escaped through a window.

Angela added: “Like everybody says, it was like a roar and it shifted the house where we were at and almost made us fall into the basement."

Steve Wright, 61, said he helped up a dad pull his dead three-year-old child from the debris.


Kentucky governor Andy Beshear told CNN Sunday: “I’ve got towns that are gone. My dad’s home town Paxton isn’t standing. It is hard to describe.”

He said the state has a strong rescue effort in place but warned that it will take time.

Around 50,000 homes are without power and Beshear couldn’t say how many people had been reported missing.

He said the list of those unaccounted in Dawson Springs ran to eight pages.

The governor previously described the twister as one of the deadliest events in Kentucky's history.

Beshear revealed that no one had been pulled out of the rubble alive since Saturday.

Elsewhere, six Amazon warehouse workers are known to have been killed when a tornado hit a facility in Edwardsville, Illinois, and trapped 100 employees inside on Friday.

Navy veteran and maintenance worker Clayton Cope, 29, tried to warn colleagues before the storm hit.

His mother Carla Cope, told The Daily Beast: “He just said he needed to tell someone that [the tornado] was coming. He had a big heart and he was a very sweet man.”

Clayton’s mother went to the warehouse after the storm passed, looking for her son. She learned hours later from authorities that Clayton didn’t survive.

Longtime friend Leighton Grothaus described Clayton as a “one of a kind person".

The other victims were identified as 28-year-old Deandre S. Morrow; 62-year-old Kevin D. Dickey; 34-year-old Etheria S. Hebb; 46-year-old Larry E. Virden; and 26-year-old Austin J. McEwen.

Cargo driver McEwen, the youngest victim, died while sheltering in the bathroom with coworkers.

Friends said he was an only child who loved to hunt with his friends.


"He was my friend and he didn't make it," coworker Brian Erdmann, who was on his way to make a delivery to the warehouse, told Reuters.

"If I would have got back 45 minutes earlier, I probably would have been at the same place. I would have been right there with him."

Employees told Reuters they were told to hide in the bathrooms when alerts came in about 40 minutes before the tornado hit.

"Our team worked quickly to ensure as many employees and partners could get to the designated Shelter in Place," Amazon confirmed.

"We thank them for everything they were able to do."

The family of Etheria S. Hebb described her as a new mother, according to the New York Post.

“She was a younger cousin of our generation so I always felt the big cuz/lil cuz bond, she was a new and dedicated mother, a naturally beautiful person from the heart all the way to her radient [sic] outer beauty,” her cousin Coerce Smith wrote on Facebook.

Friends also described Morrow as a "very loyal friend."

“I came on here to express how much of a GREAT FRIEND he was to me for so many years! I learned so much from him during my school years he taught me early what loyalty was,” his ex-girlfriend wrote, according to the Post.

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