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Joplin Home Depot Building Design Under Scrutiny

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JOPLIN, MO - MAY 26: Workers gather at a Home Depot store that was destroyed when a massive tornado passed through the town killing at least 125 people on May 26, 2011 in Joplin, Missouri. The town continues the process of recovering from the storm which damaged or destroyed an estimated 8,000 structures. (Getty/Mario Tama)

JOPLIN, MO – MAY 26: Workers gather at a Home Depot store that was destroyed when a massive tornado passed through the town killing at least 125 people on May 26, 2011 in Joplin, Missouri. The town continues the process of recovering from the storm which damaged or destroyed an estimated 8,000 structures. (Getty/Mario Tama)

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JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) — 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.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press

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