Tornadoes and severe storms ripped through several US states last night. It seems that Kentucky, Arkansas, and Tennessee caught the brunt of the weather system. Experts estimate that six individual tornadoes touched down in Middle Tennessee. In Arkansas, storms destroyed two nursing homes. In Mayfield, Kentucky, a twister destroyed a candle factory full of workers.
Several candle factory employees lost their lives last night. Those who survived found themselves trapped under rubble after the building collapsed. Hearing those things is heartbreaking. However, Kyana Parsons-Perez took to Facebook Live to broadcast their predicament and location. That video is below.
For most of the clip’s duration, we see a black screen with only brief flashes of light. The audio, on the other hand, is as clear as day. Before you click play, you should know that the audio is nothing short of harrowing. You hear voices crying out for help and Parsons-Perez’s pleas for someone to come and rescue them. These are the voices of people who never expected to see another day on Earth.
Kyana Parsons-Perez on Being Trapped in the Candle Factory
Ms. Parsons-Perez made it out alive. Then, she did a brief interview with The Today Show about her horrifying ordeal.
First, she gave the Today anchors and their audience an overview of the situation. “It was extremely scary. Everything happened so fast,” she began. Parsons-Perez went on to say that all of the candle factory employees were in the safest area in the building when the storm hit.
The storm quickly pulled away any illusions of safety that the candle factory workers had. The lights started flickering and they could feel the wind rocking the building. Not long after that, the building collapsed on top of them.
“All you heard was screams,” she said. Parsons-Perez added that she could hear several of her Hispanic co-workers praying in Spanish. She knew that she had to stay calm and do her best to get help. With that in mind, she called 911. Then, she went live on Facebook, hoping to raise awareness of their ordeal.
She told Today anchors that she was trying to stay positive, but doubted that she’d make it out of the candle factory alive. Kyana was pinned for over two hours. Only after first responders arrived did she learn that five feet of rubble covered the lower half of her body.
The Rescue Effort
First responders weren’t the only ones working to get people out of the candle factory alive. Parsons-Perez recalled that her supervisor’s wife was trapped in the rubble. Despite being told not to move, her supervisor leaped into action to save his wife. But, before he could get to her, he freed other workers.
Kyana also noted that inmates from the Graves County Jail were working in the candle factory. Instead of using the chaos of the storm to escape, they banded together to help their co-workers.
Today is Kyana Parsons-Perez’s birthday. Now, she’ll remember this as the day she was born as well as the day she survived insurmountable odds.