Kentucky Tornadoes: Death Toll at Candle Factory Rises, 8 Are Still Missing

by Clayton Edwards
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 On Friday, 110 workers filed into the Mayfield Consumer Products candle factory in Kentucky. When they clocked in, it felt like a normal Friday night. Many knew that storms loomed on the horizon. However, truly severe weather is rare this time of year. As a result, many overnight employees had their work and the weekend firmly on their minds. Before the end of their shift, a tornado ripped through Mayfield, Kentucky, and destroyed the factory. Today, the death toll is up to eight people, and as many are still missing.

Saturday, Kyana Parsons-Perez spoke to the Today Show about the ordeal. Additionally, she captured a video that let the world hear what the inside of the factory sounded like after the tornado hit. Screams of fear and hysterical prayers filled the air. At that time, Kentucky authorities feared that up to 40 workers had perished in the candle factory.

According to WLKY, a Louisville, Kentucky-based CBS affiliate, rescue efforts at the candle factory are paying off. At this time, crews have pulled more than 40 workers from the rubble. Additionally, Mayfield Consumer Products spokesman Bob Ferguson said that a total of 90 people have been accounted for. These facts give them hope. It is possible that the eight missing workers aren’t buried under the rubble of their workplace.

Ferguson said, “Many of the employees gathered in the tornado shelter and after the storm was over they left the plant and went to their homes.” He went on to say that the tornado that devastated the Mayfield, Kentucky candle factory also made communication difficult. “With power out and no landline, they were hard to reach initially. We’re hoping to find more of those eight unaccounted as we try their home residences.”

Kentucky Candle Factory Fund

Mayfield Consumer Products is more than just another place to work. The candle factory was a huge part of the economy in Graves County, Kentucky. Additionally, it was a family-owned operation with employees who had been with the company for years. As a result, they’ve set up a fund to help those employees who need assistance.

In a statement, CEO Troy Propes said, “We’re heartbroken by this, and our immediate efforts are to assist those affected by this terrible disaster. Our company is family-owned and our employees, some of who have worked with us for many years, are cherished. We’re immediately establishing an emergency fund to assist our employees and their families.”

Several charitable organizations are mobilizing to give aid to those affected by the tornadoes. However, this fund will go directly to workers at the Mayfield, Kentucky candle factory. If you felt moved by their story or the harrowing video that came out of the disaster and want to help, you can. To read the full statement from Propes and make a contribution to the MCP Candles Tornado Victims’ Fund, head over to Mayfield’s website.

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