US tornadoes: Work release inmate flees from Kentucky hospital after surviving deadly tornado

An inmate injured in Friday night’s tornado that struck Kentucky has escaped from the hospital where he was receiving treatment.

In a statement on 11 December, Kentucky state police said Francisco Starks, an inmate at Graves County Jail, had escaped from the Jackson Purchase Medical Centre.

He was on a work release at the Mayfield Consumer Products candle factory when the building collapsed after a severe tornado struck the region.

At least eight people at the factory have been killed as a result of the devastating tornado.

Police said they were informed of Starks’ disappearance at around 5pm on Saturday and believe that he may have slipped out of the hospital because of the constant flow of people in the building.

Starks may have left either on foot or may gotten a ride after no one noticed he was an inmate, a spokesperson for the Kentucky State Police told Insider.

Police are now searching for Starks and have solicited support from the public for any information in locating him.

Starks was in jail on charges of third-degree burglary, stealing a car and receiving stolen property.

He was one of seven inmates working at the candle factory as part of a programme for low-security, low-level offenders, George Workman, Graves County jailer told CNN.

The candle factory collapsed after a massive tornado made its way through Mayfield and Graves County on Friday night.

Around 100 people were working inside the factory when the tornado hit.

Workers inside the factory have revealed their horror and shared how they cried out for help when the tornado struck.

In an audio recording by one of the people stuck at the factory, one of the workers can be heard calling for help, saying a wall was stuck on her.

At least 79 people have been killed after 18 tornadoes swept across six southern and mid-western states on Friday night.


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