Most 'unaccounted for' in Mo. tornado believed OK

By: AP
By: AP

JOPLIN, Mo. -- Authorities in the southwest Missouri city of Joplin believe that many, if not most, of those considered "unaccounted for" safely survived a storm that killed at least 122 people.

Still, they sent rescue teams back out Wednesday to comb through the debris for a fourth time in a search for survivors of the nation's deadliest single tornado since 1950.

Authorities say it is impossible to know exactly how many people are still missing. They cautioned that because people are unaccounted for does not necessarily mean they are still trapped or have died.

Joplin City Manager Mark Rohr and Fire Chief Mitch Randles won't speculate on whether the death toll from Sunday's storm will grow substantially. It wasn't clear Wednesday when the search operation would switch from rescue to recovery.

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