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Texas Tornado Kills at Least One

October 25, 2002

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CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) _ A tornado-laden storm struck Corpus Christi on Thursday, killing at least one person and causing injuries and extensive damage at a college campus, officials said.

``The reports are still coming in. We have flooding all across the city,″ Mayor Loyd Neal said.

A tornado touched down at the campus between 2:45 p.m. and 3 p.m., causing at least one roof to collapse.

James Gillis, an instructor of math and industrial education, was killed by a collapsing wall, Assistant Police Chief Ken Bung said.

The storm, with three tornadoes in all, was blamed for at least 14 injuries, mostly minor. Six of the injuries were on the campus of Del Mar College.

The tornado carved a path about two to three miles long, stretching west and north from the college. Corpus Christi Emergency Operations Center spokesman Ted Nelson said cars on the campus had been overturned.

One tornado damaged a grocery store before taking aim on a nearby post office, witness Bert Quintanilla told the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. He said people in the post office started screaming when the power went out; then the winds tore a hole in the roof.

``There was a bright light, above the roof, that I could see,″ said Quintanilla, who later found the windows of his car blown out.

Students in area schools were held over as the storm raged outside, part of a large line of storms moving eastward across Texas. Del Mar canceled classes until Monday as crews begin cleaning up and repairing damage.

Neal said authorities and city workers scoured the tornado’s aftermath looking for more possible victims.

``There are probably others around the city that we have not been able to get a confirmation on,″ Neal said.

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