5 Patients, 1 Visitor Killed in Hospital Struck by Tornado

More than 180 patients survived after a tornado hit St. John Regional Medical Center on May 22. The facility was fully evacuated due to fear of structural damage.

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JOPLIN, Mo. — More than 180 patients survived after a tornado hit St. John Regional Medical Center on Sunday. Officials say there were at least 10 minutes of warning inside the building before the storm struck the facility.

Patients were moved into interior hallways for shelter as the building was torn apart by the twister, CBS News reports. Afterwards, critical patients were transported to a nearby hospital in ambulances, pickup trucks and on makeshift stretchers.

Hospital officials say that five patients and one visitor were killed during the tornado, KCTV 5 reports. The surviving patients, staff and visitors were evacuated over fear of structural damage to the hospital. Walls inside the nine-story facility were knocked 10 feet out of place and x-rays and medical records were found two counties away. 

Hospital officials have asked that people who find patient records keep them until they devise a plan to collect them, Today’s THV reports.

The evacuation took 90 minutes, according to ABC News. Many St. John hospital employees have been sent to a field hospital set up in the city’s Memorial Hall to work. Hospital-owned ambulances are also being deployed.

At a Joplin nursing home, 10 residents and a staff member were killed as a result of the tornado, reports CNN. Two other staff members are in critical condition.

At Missouri Southern State University, the start of intersession classes has been delayed due to the aftermath of the storm, according to the university’s Web site. University employees are asked to report to their regular work locations if they are able; if not, they are asked to contact their supervisors.

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Disaster Recovery, Natural Disasters, Privacy, Tornadoes

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