UK & World News

  • 17 June 2014, 10:00

Rare Twin Tornadoes Leave One Dead In Nebraska

One person has been killed and 16 others critically injured after twin tornadoes swept through northeast Nebraska.

The National Weather Service (NWS) said at least two tornadoes touched down within a mile of each other, destroying half of the town of Pilger.

Rescue teams and residents sorted through the wreckage of demolished homes and businesses in the town, around 100 miles northwest of Omaha.

Stanton County Commissioner Jerry Weatherholt said: "More than half of the town is gone - absolutely gone.

"The co-op is gone, the grain bins are going, and it looks like almost every house in town has some damage. It's a complete mess."

Stanton County Sheriff Mike Unger said up to 75% of the town was heavily damaged and the local school was beyond repair.

"It's total devastation," he said.

Hospital officials in nearby Norfolk said one person had died from their injuries.

Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman has declared a state of emergency and the National Guard was preparing to deploy to the area.

The town of Pilger was evacuated and state police closed all roads around it.

Tornadoes have also caused damaged in Cuming and Wyoming counties and the NWS has been tracking another twister near Burwell in central Nebraska.