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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Festival Turns To Tragedy As Tornado Hits

PIEDMONT, Alabama -- A colorful Easter Week pageant turned into a horror show when a tornado rained bricks on a crowded country church, killing at least 19 people. A band of storms claimed 42 lives in all as it pounded the Southeast.


Deadly twisters and violent thunderstorms battered churches, hundreds of houses and a nursing home on Palm Sunday. Twenty-three people were killed in Alabama, 16 in Georgia, two in North Carolina and one in Tennessee.


The Goshen United Methodist Church was devastated in seconds. The pageant and the start of Holy Week had attracted 140 people, far more than the usual congregation of 50.


Ninety people were injured. Many were trapped in the rubble for up to an hour.