(Updates with new death toll, details on identification)
JOPLIN, Mo May 28 The death toll from the
powerful tornado that tore through the Missouri city of Joplin
rose to 142 on Saturday as officials continued to identify
victims, the city said.
Sunday's tornado was rated an EF-5, or the strongest
possible, and is already the deadliest single twister in the
United States since 1947.
The tornado injured more than 900 people, and officials
said that number could be higher because some people did not go
to hospitals. More than a hundred people are missing and
unaccounted for, they said.
Missouri officials, who are working to identify victims,
cautioned that the new death toll represented 142 sets of human
remains and that there was a chance remains of one person were
in more than one set.
Some families have expressed frustration at the slow pace
of identifying the victims and releasing the remains and their
inability to enter the morgue to view and identify them.
Authorities say they need to be sure no mistakes are made.
The tornado scored a direct hit on the city of 50,000
people in southwest Missouri and left a swath of destruction
nearly a mile (1.6 km) wide, damaging about 8,000 buildings.
President Barack Obama is scheduled to visit the
traumatized city of 50,000 people on Sunday, following his
return from a European trip.
(Reporting by Elliott Blackburn; Editing by Greg McCune and