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Pekin, Indiana Child Survives Storm, Taken To Kosair Children's Hospital


First Posted: 03/ 3/2012 5:11 pm Updated: 03/ 4/2012 5:56 am


(Adds family details, toddler's condition)

By Cary Stemle

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky, March 3 (Reuters) - A toddler girl's entire family was killed by tornadoes in the hours before she was rescued alone from a field miles from her home in ravaged southeast Indiana, officials said on Saturday.

The 2-year-old child, who remained in critical condition in a Kentucky hospital, is with members of her extended family, but was not identified publicly.

Her two parents, a two-month-old sister and a 3-year-old brother were all killed before she was found, said Cis Gruebbel, a spokewoman for Kosair Children's Hospital in Louisville, where the child has been since Friday evening.

Indiana officials have said that four people died in Washington County, where the girl was found, but it was unclear on Saturday if they were her family.

The child was transported by helicopter to Kosair on Friday after being stabilized at a tiny rural hospital in Salem, Indiana.

Officials have declined to detail her injuries and said it was unclear who had found her, where her family was during the ordeal, how they were located and which members of the family were at the hospital.

A spokeswoman for St. Vincent Salem Hospital said the injured child arrived by ambulance around 4 p.m. on Friday, but that authorities were still unclear how she had ended up in a field 10 miles away from where her family was from near hard-hit Pekin, Indiana.

Salem didn't sustain nearly as much damage as other parts of Washington County, said Indiana State Police Sgt. Jerry Gooden. The worst of the damage was between 10 and 20 miles to the southeast, near Pekin and Henryville, an area Gooden described as "mass destruction."

Donations for the girl can be made through www.helpkosairchildrenshospital.com, or call the hospital at 502-629-8060. (Reporting by Cary Stemle in Louisville and Karen Brooks in Austin, Texas; Writing By Karen Brooks; Editing by Peter Bohan)

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Vehicles damaged by a tornado lie in the parking lot of the Henryville Jr./Sr. High School in Henryville, Ind., Saturday, March 3, 2012. A string of violent storms demolished small towns in Indiana and cut off rural communities in Kentucky as an early season tornado outbreak killed more than 30 people, and the death toll rose as daylight broke on Saturday's search for survivors. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
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Filed by Joanna Zelman  |  Report Corrections