by Stephanie Boyd
A rare double tornado struck the U.S. state of Nebraska Monday, killing at least two and leaving behind a trail of destruction
PILGER, NE -- At least two people lost their lives and a further 19 were critically injured after a rare formation of two powerful tornadoes ripped through the small U.S. town of Pilger, NE on Monday afternoon.
The U.S. National Weather Service said the two tornadoes touched down within roughly a mile of each other, with one directly hitting the town, levelling several buildings including the Fire Department. "More than half of the town is gone -- absolutely gone," Stanton County Commissioner Jerry Weatherholt told the Associated Press. "The co-op is gone, the grain bins are gone, and it looks like almost every house in town has some damage. It's a complete mess."
Two deaths were reported. Stanton County Sheriff Mike Unger said a five-year-old was killed in Pilger, but didn't say how. Another person died outside of town, he said. Unger estimated that 50 to 75 percent of Pilger - a town of about 350 - with was heavily damaged or destroyed in the storm. "It's total devastation," he said.
Officials won't know the full extend of how many people were injured and how much damage was caused by the double tornado until late Tuesday at the earliest, after crews have completed a detailed examination of the area.