Catholic hospital takes direct hit from Joplin tornado

JOPLIN, Mo. (CNS) — A Catholic hospital in Joplin took a direct hit from a severe tornado that struck the city May 22. Within a day of the twister, 89 people were confirmed dead, with the number almost certain to rise as rescue teams searched amid the rubble for survivors.

St. John’s Regional Medical Center was in the path of the tornado, variously described as being from a half-mile to a mile-and-a-half wide. A spokeswoman for the hospital told The New York Times May 23 that its 183 patients had been moved to other facilities. It was uncertain whether any perished during the storm. Telephone service to the hospital was cut off after the twister.

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