DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Police say people have been taken to a local hospital after a tornado hit a factory in Pella where some people were working.
Pella Police Lt. Shane Cox told KCCI-TV some people from Vermeer Manufacturing were taken to a hospital, but he didn’t know the extent of injuries or the number of people.
He says emergency responders are attempting to get inside the damaged building to see if anyone is trapped inside.
One of the factory’s several manufacturing buildings sustained extensive damage with metal strewn across the parking lot and across the street into a cornfield. Vehicles were overturned and piled onto others.
Several buildings are reported damaged by a tornado in the main business district in Marshalltown, including the historic courthouse.
Initial reports to the National Weather Service indicated the historic Marshall County Courthouse’s tower was damaged in a Thursday afternoon tornado, and a weather service spotter reported vehicles overturned and numerous trees down.
A woman working at Hammer Medical Supply in the city’s downtown says her building has minor damage. She says other nearby buildings including The Orpheum, a theater built in 1948, also are damaged. Another nearby brick building is missing one side leaving the interior living quarters visible to the outside.
Marshalltown is a city of 27,000 about 50 miles (80 kilometers) northeast of Des Moines.
A large factory in the central Iowa city of Pella has sustained damage from a tornado strike.
Vermeer Manufacturing spokeswoman Liz Sporrer confirmed by email the company was hit. She says they were assessing the damage.
The company makes agricultural machinery including hay balers and mowers and equipment for the pipeline and forestry management industries.
Video from KCCI-TV showed damage to the building and cars stacked atop each other in a parking lot.
A storm system moving eastward across central Iowa is generating several tornadoes.
Several funnel clouds developed Thursday from the thunderstorm as it moved north of Des Moines near Bondurant. Additional funnels were reported as the storm moved east of Des Moines past Altoona, Prairie City and Colfax.
National Weather Service Meteorologist Jeff Johnson in Des Moines says several tornadoes were confirmed but no serious damage was immediately reported. There were no reports of injuries by midafternoon Thursday.
He says the funnel clouds are weak and smaller in scale.
The weather service is continuing to issue tornado warnings as the storms move eastward.
Additional funnel clouds were reported further north near Iowa Falls.