Thursday, December 8, 2022
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Kentucky factory worker was trapped under collapsed wall for hours after tornado

A Mayfield candle factory worker who had left Puerto Rico two years ago to work in Kentucky spoke emotionally about surviving a tornado that left her with no job, car or home.

“Everything is gone,” Andrea Miranda, 21, told MSNBC anchor José Díaz-Balart in an interview Monday. “I got no job, no car, no way to replace it. I don’t know what to do now,” she said tearfully.

She left her family in Puerto Rico two years ago to work at the Mayfield Consumer Products’ factory. “I’ve always been working so hard and now everything is gone — I have no way to support myself right now.”

Miranda had moved to a sheltering area inside the factory when they got the tornado warnings. No more than five minutes had gone by, she said, when the building’s roof collapsed.

“I thought I was going to die,” said Miranda, who hugged her supervisor as an entire wall collapsed on top of them leaving them both unable to move and making it difficult to breathe for two hours. About 5 feet of debris collapsed on them both as she and others were yelling for help, she said.

In Kentucky, the deadly tornadoes that tore through several states over the weekend have killed 74 people, with 109 others unaccounted for, according to Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear. Of those who are dead, 18 are unidentified, he said. 

At least eight people were confirmed dead after the candle factory’s roof collapsed.

According to the 2020 census, 4.6 percent of the state’s population is Hispanic, a 56.5 percent increase since 2010. In Graves County, where Mayfield was located, they account for 7.6 percent of the total population. Many, like Miranda, work in factory and construction jobs.

In an interview with NBC’s Nightly News, Mayfield Mayor Kathy Stewart O’Nan said the town is “gone.”

When Díaz-Balart asked Miranda if she had any support or a close circle of friends, she said “no.” Her close friend, Janine Johnson-Williams, died in the factory collapse.

Miranda said she didn’t see herself “holding up” much longer, “because everything that I had to work these [past] two years is gone.”

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