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Tornadoes battle U.S. Midwest, at least 2 dead

Ray Baughman embraces family shortly after his home was destroyed by a tornado that left a path of devastation through the north end of Pekin, Il., Nov. 17, 2013. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/JOURNAL STAR/Fred Zwicky

A fast-moving storm system triggered multiple tornadoes in Illinois and Indiana on Sunday, killing at least two people, injuring about 40 and flattening large parts of the city of Washington, Illinois as it crashed across the Midwest, officials said.

The city of Washington, Illinois, was hit hard by what the National Weather Service called a “large and extremely dangerous” tornado.

Thirty-one people injured by the storm that hit Washington were being treated at St. Francis Medical Center, one of the main hospitals in nearby Peoria, according to hospital spokeswoman Amy Paul. Eight had traumatic injuries.

Two people were killed in Washington County, Illinois, about 200 miles south of Peoria, said Illinois Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman Patti Thompson. The agency estimated that at least 70 homes were destroyed across the state.

Video from Washington, Illinois, showed buildings reduced to rubble and homes torn in half in the city of 15,000 people some 145 miles (233km) southwest of Chicago.