A destructive wave of tornadoes and heavy thunderstorms struck the Midwestern U.S. Sunday, killing at least five people.
All of the fatalities occurred in Illinois, which suffered the worst impact of the storms.
One of the fatalities occurred in the small town of Washington, where entire neighborhoods were destroyed by a fast-moving tornado. The Illinois National Guard has dispatched a 10-person crew to assist with search and recovery efforts. The National Weather Service described the tornado that struck the town as “large and extremely dangerous”.
Thirty-one people injured by the storm that hit Washington were being treated at St. Francis Medical Center, one of the main hospitals in nearby Peoria, according to the hospital spokeswoman. Eight had traumatic injuries.
The other fatalities included an elderly brother and sister whose home was destroyed when a tornado struck the southern community of New Minden.
The fast-moving storms caused hundreds of flights at Chicago's two airports, O'Hare International and Midway, to be delayed, and even forced a two-hour delay of a National Football League game between the Chicago Bears and visiting Baltimore Ravens.
The storm system also crossed over the neighboring states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio, leaving tens of thousands without power.
Some information in this report was contributed by Reuters.