A husband and wife were killed while trying to protect their 18-month-old baby from a storm near a trailer park in Nashville, Arkansas, about 70 miles (115 km) southeast of Dallas, a town of about 2,500 people where scores of homes were reduced to splinters.
The couple lost their lives while their infant daughter made it out of debris.
“She barely had a scratch on her. It’s absolutely a miracle.The trailer was completely demolished," Howard County coroner John Gray said.
Talking to the press, Gray said the family was inside a mobile home that flipped over and “exploded” during the storm.
The bodies of Michael, 28 and Melissa, 29, were found by a search dog shortly after the tornado destroyed several mobile homes in the area, KSLA.com reported.
Their daughter survived unharmed and is now in the custody of relatives.
A series of storms and tornadoes hit a number of small communities in Texas and Arkansas, killing at least five people.
At least three people were unaccounted and dozens were injured as the twisters damaged buildings and crippled life.
In neighbouring Texas, a tornado pummeled the small town of Van and killed two people, damaging about 30 percent of the community, according to Chuck Allen, fire marshal and emergency management coordinator of Van Zandt County.
Three people were missing in the small town located some 112 kilometre southeast of Dallas.
Officials confirmed that the tornado was an EF3, with winds up to 140 mph (225 kmh), Allen said.
At least 42 people were injured, according to two East Texas hospitals. Four patients were in critical condition.
Fifty to 100 homes were either damaged or destroyed, Allen said.