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Thu 1 Mar 2012 10:25 AM

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Tornados tear through US MidWest

Illinois and Missouri among those areas affected

Tornados tear through US MidWest
Powerful storms that spawned tornadoes ripped through the U.S. Midwest on Wednesday, killing at least 11 people, including six in Illinois who were crushed when a house was lifted up and fell on them, authorities said. (Getty Images)
Tornados tear through US MidWest
Three people in Missouri were also killed by a storm that struck during the night. A tornado temporarily closed the famous entertainment strip in Branson, Missouri, where country music shows and other performers draw thousands of people a day. (Getty Images)
Tornados tear through US MidWest
Two men and four women died when a pre-dawn tornado struck Harrisburg, Illinois, a town of nearly 10,000 people, Mayor Eric Gregg said, describing the storm damage as "horrific." (Getty Images)
Tornados tear through US MidWest
Two people also died in Tennessee as the rash of storms moved across a wide area. (Getty Images)
Tornados tear through US MidWest
In Harrisburg, the six people were killed when powerful winds lifted a house up and dropped it on top of other homes in a housing subdivision adjacent to a wrecked shopping strip. (Getty Images)
Tornados tear through US MidWest
Two people also died in Tennessee as the rash of storms moved across a wide area. (Getty Images)
Tornados tear through US MidWest
"There are hundreds of homes damaged, millions of dollars in damage. The hospital is severely damaged. There's a mall with 10 stores that was destroyed," Gregg said. (Getty Images)
Tornados tear through US MidWest
Mike Hancock, an employee of the U.S. Forest Service, and several others armed with tools attempted a rescue where the six people died. (Getty Images)
Tornados tear through US MidWest
"We crawled in there as much as we could. Then there wasn't enough stability, the whole foundation was shaking. We had to get out of there," he said.(Getty Images)
Tornados tear through US MidWest
llinois Governor Pat Quinn issued a disaster declaration for the southern third of the state, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency for the state, while Kansas Governor Sam Brownback declared a state of disaster emergency for Wabaunsee County.(Getty Images)