A powerful storm packing heavy , hail and a strong damaged parts of an airport in St. Louis when it hit Friday. The tornado shattered glass, twisted metal and blew out plate-glass windows in the main terminal at Lambert, St. Louis International Airport.
Heavy winds from a severe storm caused significant damage, shattered windows and sent debris raining down on passengers at an airport in St. Louis Friday night. The Lambert-St. Louis International Airport is closed indefinitely while officials investigate the damage, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay told reporters. "There was a reported sighting of a tornado. Although that has not been confirmed, that storm caused significant damage to the airport," he said. The reported tornado twisted metal and blew out plate-glass windows in the airport's main terminal, CNN affiliate KSDK reported. Four people were transported to nearby hospitals with injuries, Slay said. Passengers were hit with flying glass and debris as winds ripped off part of the roof in the airport's C concourse, the station reported. One witness described a chaotic scene outside the terminal as officials evacuated passengers from at least one aircraft. "The plane was rocking back and forth," said Brett Knewitz of Albuquerque, New Mexico, who was on a plane that was about to take off from the airport when the storm hit. Initially officials did not allow evacuated passengers into the airport, he said, because of concerns that the building's roof would collapse. Once he was allowed inside, Knewitz said he saw an injured gate agent. "She was bleeding like crazy," he said. - CNN.
Damage, possibly from a tornado, was also reported at several towns near the airport — Maryland Heights, Bridgeton, St. Ann, Ferguson and Florissant. Interstate 270 in that area was closed. Trees and power lines were down. A tractor-trailer was sitting on its end. Unconfirmed tornadoes were reported near New Melle and Dardenne Prairie in St. Charles County. St. Charles County Sheriff's Lt. Craig McGuire said there were early reports of at least 20 homes damaged in the county. "It was pretty wicked," he said. In downtown St. Louis, Busch Stadium officials hurriedly moved Cardinals fans to a safe area as tornado sirens blared. The game with the Cincinnati Reds was delayed for hours. The utility company Ameren Missouri reported more than 39,000 power outages. In Maryland Heights, a police dispatcher said a tornado hit the area, damaging homes and power lines. The dispatcher, who refused to give her name, said several officers were out dealing with reports of gas leaks and downed trees that were blocking roadways. The department said it was unclear if there were any injuries. The city's community center was being opened as a shelter Friday night for residents affected by the storm. "It looks like we probably had a couple touchdowns around Maryland Heights," said Mary Vaughan, director of parks and recreation for the city. "We got some damage. I don't even know all of it." - NPR.Here are some scenes from the airport, courtesy of CNN affiliate KPLR.
The National Weather Service (NWS) has confirmed that 14 tornadoes struck the state of Indiana and the number is expected to rise as the NWS crews from Louisville, Kentucky continue to survey damage in Dubois, Orange, Scott and Jefferson counties.
Stay tuned. More anon.