Two People Killed, Dorm Destroyed Near Jackson - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Two People Killed, Dorm Destroyed Near Jackson

A dorm at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. A dorm at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee.
Union University Union University
Lt. Barry Michaels with the Jackson Police Department Lt. Barry Michaels with the Jackson Police Department

JACKSON, Tenn. - Two people have been confirmed dead near Jackson after tornadoes and strongs winds moved through the area.

The deaths occured at two different homes in Denmark, about 14 miles southwest of Jackson.

The victim's identities had not been released.

Officials said 59 people were treated at the Jackson County Medical Center after the storms. About 30 of those patients came from Union University.

Seven students were trapped in the Community Commons area. A woman's dormitory was almost completely destroyed.

Crews were able to rescue several people who had become trapped in the dorm. Search dogs were brought in from Memphis to look for additional victims, although emergency workers believed that everyone had been pulled out of the building.

TEMA spokesman Donnie Smith said two cells moving across Tennessee produced damaging winds.

"This is a pretty serous front as it goes through, so we would advise you watch the weather very carefully in your particular area," said Smith.

Officials said the students acted properly by going to the interior of the structure.

Eight students had been trapped in the damaged dormitory at one point, but weren't seriously injured. Students huddled in bathrooms as the storm passed.

"I saw the tornado coming," said one student. "You walked out and saw the buildings down, trees down."

Union students were taken to makeshift shelters at civic center and at Liberty High School.

Several churches brought their vehicles to the campus. Jackson Transit Authority also dispatched buses to help transport students.

"A lot of the kids left in vehicles whether their own or their friend," he said, adding that most left on the buses sent to the university.

He said the shelters were also established for people in local homes displaced by the storm.

Authorities searched the campus Wednesday morning to account for all students.

"We got the last guy we knew to be trapped in that one really damaged building," said Lt. Barry Michaels of the Jackson Police Department during a press conference after 12:30 a.m.

Michaels said the man was one of several students trapped in the building. The man was alive and conscious when removed from the University Commons building. He was transported to a local hospital.

"Anytime you get those people out and they're still alive, that's great," he said.

There were no reports of fatalities or injuries.

Buildings on campus were heavily damaged. Smith said a radio tower was blown down in Arlington.

(NewsChannel 5 and The Associated Press.)

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