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. Tornado rips through Virginia, 200 injured: officials

Firefighters conduct recovery efforts as they clear debris from a home in the Hillpoint Farms subdivision hit by a tornado April 29, 2008 in Suffolk, Virginia. Three Tornadoes touched down in central and southeastern Virginia damaging buildings and injuring at least 200 people. Photo courtesy AFP.
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) April 28, 2008
A tornado ripped through southeastern Virginia on Monday, causing about 200 injuries and damaging homes, authorities said.

"Suffolk looks to be hardest hit," said Bob Spieldenner, spokesman for the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, referring to the city in the southeast corner of the state.

"They are estimating somewhere around 200 injuries."

A local hospital was also hit but was still able to receive patients, he said.

Local television footage showed houses blown apart and trees cut down by the tornado.

An earlier report of one fatality turned out to be inaccurate, according to Spieldenner.

The twister had hit other south-central counties along the border of North Carolina on Monday afternoon but the extent of the damage was difficult to ascertain with the onset of nightfall, Spieldenner said.

"We are still trying to get an idea of the scope of the damage," he said.

Virginia Governor Tim Kaine had declared a state of emergency to free up state resources, he said.

"At least 23 properties were heavily damaged" in Suffolk, said Dana Woodson, spokeswoman for the city of Suffolk.

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70 dead in China train crash: state media
Zibo, China (AFP) April 28, 2008
Seventy people were killed and 420 injured early Monday when a passenger train from Beijing careered off the rails and slammed into another train in eastern China, state media reported.

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