The youngest was six years old, the oldest 89. Seven family members lost their lives because of the devastating tornado that was pulled by the American state of Alabama on Sunday.

That is what the coroner of Lee County announced. In total, at least 23 people were killed by the violence of nature. Seven to eight people are still missing, reports Sheriff Jay Jones.

“We are still searching, we have not given up hope,” said Opelika fire commander Byron Prather. The sound of heavy machines and chainsaws dominates in the disaster area.

Ravage and many deaths after devastating tornado

Four children, between six and ten years old, were killed in the disaster. The youngest, AJ, had entrenched himself in a closet with his father and older brother. His father held his two sons in their arms, but the tornado tore the house apart and pulled them both away from him.

“He held them tight, but when the tornado came they just took them,” said the boy’s uncle in interviews with American media. The father and brother of the boy survived. AJ not.

Coroner Bill Harris announced yesterday that two large companies have offered to pay the funerals of all 23 victims. “This will help the families enormously, especially those who have to bury several victims.”

Previously, Harris had said that there was only one survivor who had to pay for the costs of the seven funerals.