South Africa Tornado Damages Homes, Kills Eight

By By Vickie Frantz, Staff Writer
July 15, 2012, 3:44:55 AM EDT

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A deadly tornado hit the town of Bethlehem in Free State South Africa on Saturday leaving at least eight people dead, many others injured and several buildings damaged or destroyed.

The tornado was reported by ER24's Bethlehem Branch when they arrived on the scene to assist the victims. ER24 is a private, national emergency medical care service that responds to emergency situations in South Africa, according to their web site.

In the town of Kestell, several people were injured when the tornado destroyed several informal settlements, according to administrator Marga. As of Sunday afternoon, there was no further information available about the number of people injured. is a large weather community located in the Netherlands and Belgium. Marga wrote in an email that the site follows weather events globally.

According to Marga, five lions also escaped on Saturday when a tree fell on the gate of their enclosure. The lions were all recaptured early Sunday morning (local time).

Additional photographs from the storm can be seen on the ER24 Flickr page.


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