DALLAS — Several tornadoes hit Oklahoma City and nearby communities during the busy afternoon rush hour Tuesday, leaving at least two people dead and seriously hurting several children.

Canadian County, Okla. County emergency director Jerry Smith told the Associated Press that the storm hit the communities of El Reno and Piedmont, just west of the capital. There was no word on injuries.

Three children were hurt in Piedmont, and firefighters were rushing to a natural gas explosion at a Devon Energy Corp. facility near El Reno.

A main thoroughfare, I-40, was closed west of Oklahoma City as the storm crossed the area.

The tornadoes add length to the string of deadly weather that has struck the American midwest over the past few weeks.

About The Author

John Guilfoil is the editor-in-chief of Blast: Boston's Online Magazine and the Blast Magazine Network. He can be reached at [email protected]. Tweet @johnguilfoil.

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