Child Killed as Twin Tornadoes Slam Nebraska

'It was like God dragged 2 fingernails across the land'

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 17, 2014 12:07 AM CDT

(Newser) – The small town of Pilger in northeast Nebraska has been devastated by twin tornadoes that killed a child, left half the town in ruins, and seriously injured at least 16 people. The tornadoes, which were about a mile apart, destroyed many buildings in the town of 350 people about 75 miles north of Omaha. "It was like God dragged two fingernails across the the land," a school system employee tells the Omaha World-Herald. The town has been evacuated as authorities search for survivors in the rubble.

"More than half of the town is gone—absolutely gone," the county commissioner tells the AP. "The co-op is gone, the grain bins are gone, and it looks like almost every house in town has some damage. It's a complete mess." Witnesses say they could see nothing but wrecked buildings for block after block, with cars and street signs strewn around. Six people rode out the storm in a bank vault. "Our ears started popping ... and we heard a swishing sound," one survivor says. "About the time we figured it was over, the roof caved in."

This framegrab taken from video provided by StormChasingVideo.com shows two tornados approaching Pilger, Nebraska.   (AP Photo/StormChasingVideo.com)
Severely damaged homes and buildings are seen in Pilger, Nebraska.   (AP Photo/The Journal-Star, Stacie Scott)
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A storm chaser captured this video of the twin tornadoes.   (Associated Press)

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