HOUSTON, (Xinhua): The Oklahoma authorities confirmed on Friday that at least five people were killed when tornadoes slammed Oklahoma City and its suburbs where are still recovering from a monster twister less than two weeks ago.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol said earlier a mother and her baby were killed in their car while traveling on Interstate 40, just west of Oklahoma City.
The Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s Office said two of the deaths occurred in Union City and one was in El Reno, west of Oklahoma City.
Some 40 to 50 people were being treated for storm-related injuries, including five patients in critical condition, among them a child, according to the Integris Health hospital system.
The storm, hitting the city during the evening rush hour, crumbled cars and tractor-trailers along a major interstate highway and caused havoc, a local TV channel ABC13 reported.
Hail and heavy rain swept the metro area and emergency workers even had trouble responding to “widespread” reports of injuries, according to reports.
Flash flooding and tornadoes also killed three people in Arkansas late Thursday and early Friday. Three others were reported missing in floods.
The U.S. averages more than 1,200 tornadoes a year. Most tornadoes in the country are relatively small. Of the 60 top-of-the-scale EF-5 tornadoes to hit since 1950, Oklahoma and Alabama have been hit the most — seven times each, according to media reports.
A tornado, classified as an EF-5, hit Moore, in the southern part of the Oklahoma City metropolitan area, on May 20, killing 24 people and injuring 377 others. As many as 12,000 homes were damaged