The room is pitch black but out of the darkness Kyanna Parsons-Perez’s voice emerges to assure her coworkers that they will make it out of the collapsed building alive.
“Calm down, calm down. We gonna be okay,” Parsons-Perez says in a video shared to social media after the roof of the Kentucky candle factory she works at fell in when tornadoes hit late Friday and early Saturday.
There have been at least 70 deaths in Kentucky alone, officials said.
“My birthday is in couple (of) hours,” said Parsons-Perez, who turned 40 on Saturday, can be heard telling colleagues in Mayfield, one of the cities hardest hit by the storm. “Y’all gotta sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to me.”
With strained voices, a number of coworkers begin singing the familiar tune as at least one other can be heard crying out.
Later on, Parsons-Perez shared her own fears, telling Facebook followers, “I’m so scared” as she says she hopes her children will not see the videos.
Speaking with NBC News via voice notes in the aftermath of the incident, Parsons-Perez said that when the storm hit, she and her coworkers were told to go to a storm shelter area towards the back of the candle factory.
She said everyone was “getting down, taking cover” and then suddenly, her ears started “popping.”
“Like, you know when you’re on the plane?” she said.
Then, she said, the lights went out “and then before you know it, it was like the building rocked and collapsed and we fell down.”
Parsons-Perez compared the roof coming down to a “house of cards” being knocked over.
“We were just trying to stay calm until they come and got us,” she said.
In a later video, Parsons-Perez is in “They got me out!”
In a separate video taken in Bowling Green, Kentucky posted to Facebook by Angie Jaggers Keen, 50, debris can be seen in the streets.
“I’ve never seen an actual war zone, but if I had to guess I’d say where I’m standing looks like one,” she said. “Yes my family is safe, but there was loss of life so others were as fortunate. My heart is broken for those families.”
Kentucky Governor Andy Besheart warned of “mass casualties” early Saturday.
“We believe our death toll from this event will exceed 50 Kentuckians and probably end up closer to 70 or 100 lost lives,” he said.
Beshear said at least four tornadoes ripped through Kentucky, leaving almost 60,000 residents without power.
The National Weather Service also warned of possible possible tornadoes Friday in parts of Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois and Tennessee.
In Edwardsville, Illinois, outside St. Louis, six people died after a 150-foot portion of an Amazon facility collapsed, Edwardsville Fire Chief James Whiteford said Saturday evening.