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More than 70 killed in Kentucky tornadoes

So far more than 70 people have been killed by tornadoes that have swept across the state, razing towns in the state's "worst ever".

A derailed train is seen amid damage and debris after a devastating outbreak of tornadoes ripped through several U.S. states in Earlington, Kentucky.
Cheney OrrReuters

More than 70 people have been killed with predictions the number could rise above 100 in some of the worst tornadoes to strike the US state. A state of emergency has been declared by the governor as rescue operations are underway to search for survivors.

"It's indescribable, unlike anything I've ever seen," Governor Andy Beshear said.

"You see parts of industrial buildings, roofs, or sightings in trees, if trees are lucky enough to stand. Huge metal poles bent in half if not broken, buildings that are no longer there, huge trucks that have been picked up and thrown. And sadly far too many homes that people were likely in, entirely devastated."

"There are a lot of families that need your prayers," he said.

More than 400,000 homes and businesses lost power across eight states in the South and Midwest by 10 a.m. ET Saturday, including more than 130,000 in Tennessee and more than 60,000 in Kentucky.

Buildings ripped apart

Some of the worst damage was inflicted upon a factory which had more than 100 people working in it at the time. Heavy machinery was said to be displaced as well as dangerous liquids leaking. More than 40 people have been rescued from the wreckage so far.

A train was also derailed by wind in Hopkins county.

US President Joe Biden tweeted that he had been briefed about the tornadoes on Saturday morning.

"To lose a loved one in a storm like this is an unimaginable tragedy," he said.

"We're working with Governors to ensure they have what they need as the search for survivors and damage assessments continue."