March 31, 2011 -- A severe thunderstorm and suspected tornado tore through Central Florida today, leaving seven people with minor injuries and a handful of people temporarily trapped under a collapsed tent at the Lakeland Linder Regional Airport, officials said.
No major injuries were reported.
Several people had gathered at the airport for the Sun 'n' Fun Aviation Fair when the storm rapidly made its way through the area and damaged aircrafts. Some vintage biplanes were reportedly flipped over and crumpled like soda cans while larger planes were lifted up and landed in drainage ditches.
"Several people are out there, viewing some of the aircrafts," Brian LaMarre of the National Weather Service said. "We had some planes that flipped over."
Winds reportedly reached 90 miles per hour in Tampa, and Polk County emergency crews have responded to the incident at the Lakeland Airport.
The emergency crews were able to free the people who were trapped, including seven people who had minor injuries, officials said. They were transported to Lakeland Hospital for treatment, according to Pete McNally, the director of emergency management in Polk County.
It was the second day of severe storms in the region. Winds blew a Carnival cruise ship from its dock at Cape Canaveral Wednesday and reportedly flipped a tractor trailer on its side in Brevard County. The driver suffered minor injuries.