Old Mines, Farmington MO Tornado Damage, June 1969
STORMS KILL 6, INJURE 30 IN SOUTHEAST MISSOURI.
ONE VILLAGE LOSES A DOZEN HOMES; SEVEN HURT IN ONE HOUSE.
Old Mines, Mo. (AP) -- Tornadoes left six persons dead and more than 30 injured in the Missouri lead mining belt southwest of St. Louis Sunday night, the highway patrol said.
One of the victims was identified by the security police at Southern Illinois University as WILLIAM F. BETTERTON, a music professor there.
Officers said he and his wife were driving in a Volkswagen camper bus. The security police said BETTERTON was found strapped to the seat in the unit of the car, but the rest of the car was not immediately found. The tornado had lifted his car from U.S. 67 near Farmington, Mo., and slammed it into a rock bluff.
BETTERTON'S 38-year-old wife, KATHRYN, was found dead about 30 yards from the wreckage.
At Old Mines, one twister destroyed nearly a dozen homes. ROY PRATT, a 45-year-old strip mine employee, and his 8-year-old son FRANCIS were killed.
Seven other members of the PRATT family were injured when they were trapped in their frame dwelling, which collapsed.
Two elderly brothers, JACOB and HERMAN HURST, deid when another twister tore into their home near Farmington about 22 miles southeast of Old Mines.
"We heard this awful roar, just like a railroad train," said a neighbor of PRATT, CLYDE BOYER. "It took the doors right off the storm cellar and my wife and my boy and I crouched down on the floor until it passed."
Most roads in the area were blocked by fallen trees.
The twisters downed power lines and telephone wires and an electrical storm made two-way radio contact nearly impossible in the stricken area for hours, leaving a virtual communications blackout.
Hospitals at Farmington, Ironton and Potosi, reported treating about 35 persons, most of them for minor injuries.
A spokesman for the weather bureau in St. Louis said the tornadoes were spawned by "typical summer storms."
Chillicothe Constitution Tribune Missouri 1969-06-23