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Survivors, Aid Workers Sift Through Rubble At Fatal Tornado Site

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Bailey Vassalli
/
KSMU

The three people who died Wednesday night when a tornado touched down in southwest Missouri were part of a rural community that’s struggling with the loss.

Just outside Golden City, about an hour north of Joplin, a handful of houses has been reduced to rubble. Some lots are unrecognizable, strewn with broken glass, splinters of wood and the belongings of those who lived there.

One home belonged to an elderly couple, both of whom died.  A mobile home resting on its side was the site of another fatality.

A fourth storm victim is hospitalized in serious condition; a family member said both of his hips and legs were fractured and that he may receive medical treatment in Kansas City. 

William Weiser was on site looking for photographs and mementos from his parents' home, the place where he grew up. His family wasn’t home at the time of the storm.

“We were lucky, most weren’t. There was a few who weren’t so lucky, but we have a lot of friends and family that came together really quickly, without us asking. I know there’s been endless amounts of people, Jasper football team came, Lamar Police Department. Everyone rallied together and that’s what Golden City and Barton County is about,” William Weiser said.

Ann Liles was on the scene working with the American Red Cross.

“This is our emergency response vehicle, and we take it out in instances like this. We have it full of ice cold water and snacks and we’re taking it to the folks that are working on the damaged properties,” Ann Liles said.

The deadly tornado occurred on the eighth anniversary of the Joplin tornado that killed 161 people.