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Joplin Home Depot building design under scrutiny

(UPI/Tom Uhlenbrock)
Aerial footage taken two days after an EF-5 tornado pummeled Joplin, Mo. shows the destruction to the city's Home Depot. Questions are now being raised about the building's construction, and how it may have contributed to deaths.

Engineers who studied the Joplin Home Depot where at least seven people died say the store's construction method might have led to some of the deaths.

The Kansas City Star reports that the "tilt-up wall" method used at the Joplin store met city codes, but didn't offer much protection when an EF-5 tornado roared through the community.

Others say there aren't many buildings that could have survived the 200 mph winds that destroyed roughly 8,000 homes and more than 500 businesses on May 22.

The Joplin death toll stands at 156, including three people who died in a Wal-Mart across the street from the Home Depot. At least 200 people survived at the Wal-Mart because they were taken to a concrete block structure inside the store.

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