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Tornado rips through Mexican city on Rio Grande, killing 13

Tornado rips through Mexican city on Rio Grande, killing 13
Residents take stock of the damage to houses after a tornado passed through Ciudad Acuña on May 25. (Ricardo Romero / European Pressphoto Agency)

A tornado raged through a city on the U.S.-Mexico border Monday, destroying homes, flinging cars like matchsticks and ripping an infant from the mother's arms. At least 13 people were killed, authorities said.

The baby was missing after the twister that hit Ciudad Acuña, a city of 125,000 across the Rio Grande from Del Rio, Texas, sent the infant carrier flying. Rescue workers began digging through the rubble of damaged homes in a race to find victims.

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The twister hit a seven-block area, which Victor Zamora, interior secretary of the northern state of Coahuila, described as "devastated."

Hundreds of people were being treated at hospitals, authorities said, and as many as 800 homes had been destroyed, with thousands more damaged.

"There's nothing standing, not walls, not roofs," said Edgar Gonzalez, a spokesman for the city government, describing some of the destroyed homes in a 1-square-mile stretch.

By midday, 13 bodies had been recovered: 10 adults and three infants.

Family members and neighbors gathered around a pickup truck where the bodies of a woman and two children were laid out in the truck's bed, covered with sheets. Two relatives reached down to touch the bodies, covered their eyes and wept.

Photos from the scene showed cars with their hoods torn off, resting upended against single-story houses. One car's frame was bent around the gate of a house. A bus was seen flipped and crumpled on a roadway.

The twister struck not long after daybreak, around the time buses were preparing to take children to school, Zamora said.

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