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Search For Tornado Victims Goes On

Emergency officials prepare to drain a retention pond near Eastbrook Mobile Home Park in Evansville, Ind., Monday, Nov. 7, 2005. A body was pulled from the pond early Monday. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
AP
Crews began draining a pond next to a smashed mobile-home park in a search for bodies Monday after a twister ripped through Indiana and Kentucky and killed at least 22 people.

CBS News correspondent Cynthia Bowers reports that it seems as if the tornado zeroed in on the worst possible place at the most vulnerable time — a large mobile home park in the sleepy early morning hours. In addition to packing winds of up to 200 mph, the tornado was traveling at speeds of 60 mph — when people became aware of it,

At least 18 people died at the Eastbrook Mobile Home Park in Evansville, and four others were killed in neighboring Warrick County. Dozens remained hospitalized.

A list of some 200 people feared missing from the mobile home park had been whittled down to a couple of dozen by late Monday afternoon, Eric Williams, Vanderburgh County chief deputy sheriff.

After turning over debris in the mobile home park and listening for signs of life in the ruins, searchers turned their attention to the drainage pond, where four bodies were found over the weekend.

Crews broke the pond's containment walls to lower the water level, finding one body around midday Monday, and began pumping out the rest of the water.

"It is the one spot in this area that we have not thoroughly searched because it is under water," Williams said.

The death toll was put at 22 on Sunday, then was lowered to 21 early Monday. It was raised back to 22 with the discovery of the body in the pond.

State officials said nearly 600 homes in the two Indiana counties were destroyed or heavily damaged. Gov. Mitch Daniels declared a state of emergency and asked the federal government for disaster assistance.

Rick Kalishun spent the day at a hospital, where his 4-year-old son Trystan was recovering from a punctured lung he suffered when the tornado hit their mobile home.

After the tornado hit, "I was sitting on the couch looking at the sky," Kalishun said. "I saw the 60-inch TV from the front of the living room — it ended up on the recliner, just like someone laid it there screen face-up."