Death Toll Climbs In Eagle Pass

(April 25, 2007)--Officials now say at least ten people were killed overnight when a tornado ripped through the Eagle Pass area.

Seven of those were killed in a neighborhood just south of Eagle Pass.

Maverick County Judge Jose Aranda says five of those were in a mobile home slammed by the twister into the Rosita Valley Elementary School.

Officials in neighboring Piedras Negras, Mexico, say at least three died there and at least 87 were injured.

Eagle Pass officials say 76 people were injured, 32 of whom were treated the only Eagle Pass hospital and released.

Three critically injured victims were transferred to hospitals in San Antonio, where one died.

One critically injured victim went to Del Rio.

Radar images show the hook echo produced by the tornado as the storm crossed the Rio Grande from Piedras Negras into Texas (data from Texas Mesonet at Texas A&M University).

Besides destroying the Rosita Valley School. the tornado ripped apart a nearby preschool and more than 20 nearby homes.

The Eagle Pass municipal sewer treatment plant was also damaged.

The Eagle Pass school district canceled today's classes.

The National Weather Service confirmed that a tornado struck a few miles south of Eagle Pass, about 130 miles southwest of San Antonio, just after 7 p.m. Central Time.

National Guard units and the Border Patrol are among 130 people participating in search, rescue and recovery efforts.

There are reports that some mobile homes were literally blown away by the tornado.

The fate of the residents was not immediately known.

An emergency official said about 250 residents were staying in emergency shelters Wednesday.

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