Dangerous tornado rips through Philadelphia region

BENSALEM TOWNSHIP, Pa. — Officials in eastern Pennsylvania declared a mass casualty incident after at least one tornado hit an auto dealership in Bucks County, authorities said Thursday.

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The twister hit the Faulkner Buick GMC dealership in Bensalem Township northeast of Philadelphia, KYW reported.

All of the employees at the dealership have been accounted for, the television station reported.

Earlier, Bill Rollin, the director for emergency alerts for Bucks, Montgomery and Delaware counties, told KYW that a mass casualty was “declared by Bucks County.” Crews from Bensalem Township were on the scene, and Rollin said “the full amount of injuries is unknown at this time.”

Rollin defined a mass casualty incident as “any incident where three or more people are injured,” the television station reported.

The tornado, which covered a large area, moved through parts of Bucks County in Pennsylvania and Mercer County in New Jersey, ripping through buildings and causing widespread damage, WCAU reported.

“We heard this loud bang in the middle of the parking lot and it blew right through the windows, Victor Rivera, who was inside the Faulkner dealership, told WPVI. “It blew through everything.

“My mom got under the table and I just kind of held her in my arms. I watched the glass implode and the ceiling kind of caved in from there.”

A line of severe weather caused several tornado warnings across the Philadelphia region, WPVI reported. At 5:50 p.m. EDT a confirmed “dangerous tornado” was spotted near Lumberville in Bucks County moving at 25 mph toward Mercer County, the television station reported.

There were numerous reports of trees and wires down throughout Bensalem Township, WXTF reported. Fire crews responded to several locations, the television station reported.