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Sleeping 2-year-old killed when tornado knocks tree onto bed in Michigan

A tornado tossed a tree through the roof of the boy and his mother's home in Livonia, Michigan, on Wednesday
A tornado threw a tree through the roof of the boy and his mother’s home in Livonia, Michigan on Wednesday (Photo: AP)

A sleeping two-year-old boy was killed when a tornado suddenly developed and threw a tree onto a bed he and his mother shared.

The “rapidly developing” tornado struck neighborhoods in Livonia, Michigan, on Wednesday around 3:30 p.m., according to the city.

“A huge tree was uprooted, fell on a house and through the roof, landing on a bed where a mother and her two-year-old child were sleeping,” the city said.

“Every available Livonia firefighter was dispatched to the scene.”

People walk through Rotary Park and look at fallen trees after a tornado ripped through the area in Livonia, Michiga
People walk through Rotary Park and look at fallen trees after a tornado ripped through the area in Livonia, Michigan (Photo: AP)

For nearly an hour, members of Western Wayne County Urban Search and Rescue worked to free the boy and his mother by lifting the roof of the house and tree limbs, and then the trunk itself using high-pressure airbags.

The injured boy was pronounced dead at the scene.

His mother was rushed to Livonia Trinity Hospital in critical condition.

“This is a terrible tragedy for our community,” said Mayor Maureen Miller Brosnan.

A tornado ripped through Livonia, Michigan on Wednesday afternoon
A tornado ripped through Livonia, Michigan on Wednesday afternoon (Photo: AP)

“Our hearts are also broken and we express our deepest condolences.”

The mother was conscious during the rescue and paramedics treated her while she was pinned to the tree.

“Once we were able to move the tree, a huge hardwood tree with four trunks that uprooted right next to the bedroom, the entire mass of the tree came down through the bedroom where they were staying,” Livonia Fire Chief said. Robert Johnson told ClickOnDetroit.com.

A two-week-old child and the grandmother were in another room and were not injured but were taken to St Mary’s hospital for assessment.

The National Weather Service (NWS) determined that the storms moving through the area became “severe” and entered Livonia near Schoolcraft and Interstate 96, creating an EF0 to EF1 with a destructive path up to five miles north.

NWS labeled it a spin-up storm that the city said did not appear on their radar in enough time to issue a warning.

“We appreciate all the efforts of the Livonia Fire Department and Livonia Police Department to achieve a better outcome,” Brosnan said.

“Our first responders are the best there are. We also thank all the caring neighbors who worked hard to clear trees and assist our firefighters and officers on scene.”

Livonia is a western suburb of Detroit.

The boy died just a few months after a two-year-old girl was killed by a tornado in Silver City, Mississippi, while staying in her grandparents’ mobile home while her mother gave birth to a second child in a hospital.

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