14 Arkansas Guardsmen Hurt as Tornado Rips Through Camp Shelby

CAMP SHELBY, MS (KAIT) - Fourteen Arkansas National Guardsmen have been treated at a Hattiesburg hospital for non-life-threatning injuries after high winds damaged their barracks at Camp Shelby.

Lt. Colonel Doril Sanders, a Camp Shelby spokeswoman, says the cinderblock building that housed members of the 1st/153rd National Guard Unit from Arkansas was damaged about 11:23 p.m. last night.  Most of the soldiers with that unit are from Mena, DeQueen and Sheridan.

The extent of the damage will not be known until today, but the building's roof was partially blown away, with the remainder collapsing on several soldiers inside.  The 39th soldiers from neighboring barracks quickly responded with a search and rescue effort, and establishing triage.

Sanders says the identities of the injured soldiers were being withheld until their families could be contacted.

A tornado touched down briefly around 4 p.m. yesterday in western Mississippi's Sharkey County, but there were few sightings of funnel clouds as high, sustained winds buffeted the state.