Because of the difficulty in identifying multiple sets of remains following the deadly, May 22 tornado, Joplin officials on Monday said it will be some time before a final death toll is released.
The identification problem also has caused some backtracking from totals reported previously.
Although officials and media outlets had said at least 139 people were killed -- and some had upped that number to 142 -- the only official number released Monday was 101.
That appears likely to increase but officials are not risking overstatements.
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Report: Long wait before final tornado death toll is announced
An article in today's Springfield News-Leader quotes state officials as saying it will be a long time before a final death toll in the May 22 tornado that struck Joplin will be announced: