Two children were killed in Texas on Saturday as severe weather lashed parts of the South, with tornadoes tearing through homes and warnings of hail and flash floods.
The children, who were 3 and 8, were being driven home by their parents on a rural county road near Pollok, Texas — about 130 miles northeast of Houston — when a tree fell on their car, said Capt Alton Lenderman of the Angelina County Sheriff’s Office.
The children, who were in the back seat, were pronounced dead at the scene, according to New York Times.
“They were at the wrong place at the wrong time,” Lenderman said. “The tree fell just as they were going under it.”
The National Weather Service said severe storms, and damaging wind and hail, hit many areas across the South, particularly from eastern Texas to western Alabama. There were multiple reports of tornadoes.
Photos showed destroyed homes in Franklin, Texas, about 120 miles northwest of Houston. Personal belongings and pieces of wall and furniture were strewn everywhere, with trees scattered across the ground. About a dozen people were injured, although the injuries did not appear to be life-threatening, The Associated Press reported.
Reports of severe damage also emerged in Cherokee County, particularly at the Caddo Mounds State Historic Site. “I’ve seen tornadoes but nothing like this,” Sheriff James Campbell of Cherokee County told KLTV television.
The county judge for Cherokee County, Chris Davis, said in an interview that an outdoor event was being held at the site when a tornado struck. It was the second tornado that touched down in the county, he said.
At least 16 people were taken to the hospital from the site, some by helicopter, Davis said. Many more were treated near the scene. He said search-and-rescue work continued until it was dark.
“It was pretty scary,” Davis said.
The first tornado hit the edge of the town of Alto, Texas, he said. More than 50 buildings were damaged, he estimated, adding that the high school and elementary school had “extensive damage.”
“There’s just big trees knocked off, roofs off of homes,” he said.
In Angelina County, Lenderman said that by Saturday evening, the storms had largely moved on. He said some power lines and trees were down.
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