An inmate who was working in a Kentucky candle factory when a tornado ripped the building apart is now on the run, according to police.
Francisco Starks, 44, was working at Mayfield Consumer Products’ candle factory as part of a work-release program when a tornado tore through, according to Kentucky State Police.
The Graves County inmate survived the destruction and was treated at the nearby Jackson Purchase Medical Center, police said. When he was released from the hospital, he walked out.
Starks is serving time for third-degree burglary, theft by unlawful taking of an automobile, and receiving stolen property, according to police.
The town of Mayfield was decimated in one of the deadly tornadoes that tore through six states across the Mississippi Valley overnight Friday into the early hours of Saturday.
The devastating outbreak, which included more than 30 tornado reports, is an extremely rare event this late in the year.
As of early Monday morning, at least 35 people had been confirmed dead in Kentucky following the storm, according to an NBC News tally.
But Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said the true death toll could be anywhere from around 50 to 100 people.