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Tornadoes in Oklahoma kill at least one person and injure five

(Reuters) – A swarm of tornadoes touched down in Oklahoma overnight, killing at least one person and injuring at least five, while leveling homes in the northeastern corner of the state, according to local media reports were leveled and trees were torn down.

As the morning sun rose over the area, firefighters were busy surveying the destruction and rescuing residents in Barnsdall and Bartlesville, two rural towns just north of Tulsa ravaged by the tornadoes, according to local news.

About 40 homes in Barnsdall were damaged or destroyed and a natural gas leak was reported, according to the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management. According to KOCO News, one person in the community of 1,000 people died.

Five others were injured in Bartlesville, a city of 30,000, the ABC affiliate in Oklahoma City reported.

Video footage broadcast on local media and social media showed destroyed homes, downed power lines, trees and debris scattered on roads throughout the area. About 16,000 homes and businesses were without power in Oklahoma, according to Poweroutage.us.

Storm spotters reported that 17 tornadoes touched down in the Plains region overnight, including eight sightings in Missouri, according to the National Weather Service, which has yet to confirm whether the damage or casualties were caused by tornadoes.

The dangerous weather was expected to continue Tuesday as about two million people in the region were under tornado watch, the NWS said.

(Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Chicago; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)