Death toll from tornadoes climbs in the Midwest

Kimmy Lankford walks with her son Jack, 5, through their neighborhood yesterday in Joplin, Mo.

The death toll from a monster tornado that savaged Joplin, Mo., rose to 125 yesterday as tornadoes over­night in nearby states caused at least 13 more deaths.

Bulldozers pushed through rubble in Joplin and search teams pressed through a 6-mile path of destruction looking for survivors and likely more victims, authorities said. At least 823 were injured by the tornado that hit Sunday at dinnertime, and an estimated 1,500 remain missing.

Eight died in Oklahoma, while Arkansas officials confirmed three deaths, and two deaths were confirmed in Kansas from a line of several tornadoes that roared across the Midwest overnight.

As the storm system moved eastward, Arkansas, northern Mississippi, southern Illinois and Indiana were at the highest risk for devastating tornadoes.

In Newcastle, south of Oklahoma City, a storm blew the steeple off Jesus Alive Church and flung it nearly 100 yards away, where it landed on the doorstep of the longtime pastor’s 86-year-old mother, Lovina Frizzell.

“I said ‘Oh, my goodness, there’s the steeple,’”‘ Frizzell said. “Yes, it’s quite a mess.”


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