Deadly Tornado Rips Through Iowa, Kills 7, Including Young Brother and Sister

A stock image of a tornado hitting a region in the Midwest.
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Officials said it was the deadliest tornado to hit the state in nearly 14 years, a report said. 

A massive tornado ripped through Iowakilling seven people, including a brother and a sister, aged 5 and 2, according to published news reports.

The twister hit on Saturday at about 4:30 p.m. in an area south of Des Moines.

Officials said it was the deadliest tornado to hit the state in nearly 14 years, CBS News reported

Those who perished were not all in the same location when the tornado struck. The victims have not been identified. 

The tornado that hit the community of Winterset, destroyed cars, ripped homes off of their foundations, damaged power lines, and tore through miles of land, the news outlet reported. 

According to the National Weather Service in Des Moines, it was an EF3 -tornado, on the Enhanced Fujita scale, classified as “severe,” with wind speeds between 135 and 165 mph, a report said. 

Eyewitnesses said the storm ravaged the area within seconds before passing.

“There was debris flying around and it was getting louder and louder,” Wendy Burkett said, according to the Des Moines Register. 

The home that she and her husband Tony and their two daughters had lived in for the last 12 years was destroyed in a matter of seconds.

Burkett said her husband had been doing some work outside when he learned of the tornado warning. Within moments, the couple saw the tornado barreling closer.

The family of four ran to their walk-out basement and piled atop one another as windows shattered behind them and water began rushing out from the pipes, they said. 

Burkett said the tornado lasted about a minute, and none of her family members were hurt.

Nearly 30 homes were destroyed, officials said. Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, who toured the area, called the destruction "unimaginable."

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