Tornado kills three children in Raleigh

Mobile home where three children were killed Saturday (Alina Machado)
April 16, 2011 9:00:00 PM PDT
Access to a Raleigh mobile home park remains restricted Sunday afternoon after a tornado ripped through it Saturday destroying homes and killing three children.

Police told residents Sunday afternoon the neighborhood will remain closed until 8 a.m. Monday, due to safety concerns.

Three children, 3-year-old Kevin Coronado, 8-year-old Osvaldo Coronado and 9-year-old Daniel Quistan Nino were killed inside their home Saturday. A fourth child, 6-month-old Yaire Quistian Nino, suffered head injuries and is hospitalized in critical condition. It is not known if any adults were injured.

Two sisters and their families shared the home. As the tornado touched down, the children were moved to what one of the mother's thought was a safe place. Two of the boys were brothers and the third boy and baby girl were siblings.

Authorities say a tree crashed into the home, splitting it in half. A woman inside the home at the time is identified as Christina Alvarez, the mother of the 9-year-old and 6-month-old. She was babysitting her nephews while their parents were at work.

Alvarez was holding her daughter when the tree crashed into the home. Kevin and Osvaldo Coronado's mother is identified as Marie Angeles Alvarez.

Eyewitnesses say the boys were discovered in a bathtub but police say a closet. However; the home sustained so much damaged, it was unclear where the children were initially placed.

Neighbor Epigmenio Gomez says he answered cries for help and discovered the children.

"The three boys were in a bathtub covered with a blanket," he said. "She [the mother] asked if they were alive and I had to tell her no, they were not. A baby girl was stuck under a tree; I grabbed her foot to pull her out. I will never forget their faces. God took them. I don't understand why."

According to police, the mother was knocked unconscious momentarily and when she awakened, she was still holding her baby. Police say the mother did everything she was supposed to do to protect the children.

Catholic Charities is assisting all of the Stony Brook families that have been displaced. For more information on how to contribute to the charity, click here.The American Red Cross also is accepting donations for the neighborhood. For information about how to make a Red Cross donation, click here.

Residents are in need of money and clothes.

Authorities say residents should go the Heritage High School shelter in Wake Forest for immediate assistance.

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