Lambert-St Louis airport to reopen after tornado

Tornado causes damage at Missouri airport

The US airport of Lambert-St Louis is reopening after a tornado ripped through its main terminal.

The storm in the state of Missouri tore off a large section of the terminal's roof, shattering windows and sending debris flying.

Several people were treated for minor injuries.

The airport later reopened for a handful of arriving flights and officials expect most scheduled flights to go ahead as planned by early Sunday.

However, the damaged concourse is expected to remain closed for up to two months.

"We are not going to have the prettiest airport tomorrow, but we will have an operating airport," airport director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge said.

The storm, one of a series to pass through central and eastern Missouri, also flattened homes in the area, felled trees and tore down power lines.

Lambert-St Louis airport issued a statement saying all flights were cancelled pending full safety assessments, and a clean-up was under way.

'Grown men crying'

St Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch, who was at the airport as the storm approached, said people watching the tornado suddenly had to scramble for safety.

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"About the time we came into the building, the doors blew off," he said.

"Literally 10 seconds later, it was over. It's amazing to me more people weren't hurt."

Dianna Merrill, who was waiting for a flight to New York, said she had been looking out of the window hoping her delayed flight would arrive.

"Glass was blowing everywhere. The ceiling was falling... the wind was blowing debris all over the place," she said.

"It was like being in a horror movie. Grown men were crying. It was horrible."

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