Tornado injures nine in N Dakota

Upstream | May 27, 2013 | Column by Eoin O'Cinneide 

A powerful tornado that ripped through a North Dakota oil patch worker camp on Monday has left nine people injured, one critically, according to reports.


The huge weather front descended on the trailer park eight kilometres south of Watford City, about 50 miles south-east of Williston, in the west of the oil-producing state at around 7:50pm local time on Monday, according to reports.

A 15-year-old girl was critically injured along with eight others, reports said. At least 15 residential trailers were destroyed in the storm.

"We saw it form, come out of the sky, hit the ground and go back up into the clouds," the Associated Press quoted trucking company employee William Bunkel as saying.

"Obviously, we're very fortunate there are no deaths, to our knowledge," the news wire quoted McKenzie County emergency management director Jerry Samuelson as saying.

"We heard there were three touchdowns. But we haven't heard if that's three separate tornadoes or the same tornado touching down three different times," National Weather Service meteorologist Adam Jones told the news wire.

It is not known which company owned the affected camp.

The injured girl was reportedly from out of state and visiting an aunt and uncle. She was being treated at a hospital in the city of Minot.

The storm on Monday brought wind speeds of up to 120 miles per hour.

Tornadoes are rarely reported in McKenzie County, with only 14 since 1950, with no fatalities, according to weather service data cited by the AP.

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PAUSE, People of Albany United for Safe Energy
PAUSE is a grassroots group of individuals who have come together to promote safe, sustainable energy and fight for environmental justice. We engage the greater public to stop the fossil fuel industry’s assault on the people of Albany and our environment.