Tornadoes in the US: Shocking Testimony… Stayed alive for 7 hours under the rubble
Of the 74 dead from tornadoes in Kentucky, 109 are missing
The dead from the deadly tornadoes swept across six US states reached 74 in Kentucky, announced the governor of this State, Andy Besir.
Yet 109 people are missing and the death toll is expected to rise in the coming days, the governor added.
Jemarion Hart spent nearly seven hours in agony under the rubble of a candle factory in Mayfield, Kentucky, which was leveled on Friday by a tornado that meteorologists and US authorities have described as having historic power.
"I'm just happy to be alive", will say the young African-American, 21 years old, who had just gotten a job ten days earlier in the production chain of the Mayfield Consumer Products factory.
It was a shift in the building, in the western part of the small town, which was almost erased from the map due to the tornado. All that was left of the building was a pile of metal plates, steel and wood, which rescue teams are still methodically searching for, in the hope - although it is late now - that they will find other survivors.
Friday night, narrated by Jemarion Hart, "We heard the siren (of the alarm) and ran to go to the security area, but it came, it rang, there was nothing we could do». When the tornado reached the building, the roof collapsed, trapping workers.
"It was scary, I was overwhelmed by walls, irons, wood", The young man confesses. "The longer it went on, the more the building was collapsing, collapsing.At first I could move a little, then it was no longer possible, I was stuck».
"Simply I was trying to control my breathing, but for others it was impossible, they panicked. "Some fainted, others died."
The youngster he was able to take his cell phone out of his pocket and call his girlfriend, who is pregnant, then his mother.
"It gave me hope, confidence to continue, to survive, to wait for the rescue teams," who released him after almost seven hours of anxious waiting at 03:40 a.m., he explains.
The first rescue crews, who arrived on the scene an hour after the tornado passed, took a long time before they began to remove debris, very carefully.
"The slightest wrong move would crush us", explains Cemarion Hart. After he was released, firefighters took him to safety. He could not feel his legs.
"Then I saw: the factory, the parking lot, the cars - everything was lost," he says. In addition to the bruises and pains in his legs, the young man will admit that the disaster also injured him mentally. A colleague he knew is dead. He relives his torment in his head every time the factory is mentioned. "The images are spinning in your head. "It's hard to handle," he said.
He complains about the lack of safety measures by the factory management, which decided to continue production despite warnings from the authorities. Many of the workers "are outraged" because they were called "to work that night" without "any warning", he explains.
The company may face lawsuits: "Since it did not do what it's supposed to make employee safety a priority, it deserves it," he said.