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Woman trapped inside candle factory thankful to be alive


Kyanna Parsons-Perez talks about surviving the tornado that struck Mayfield Consumer Products...
Kyanna Parsons-Perez talks about surviving the tornado that struck Mayfield Consumer Products in Mayfield, Kentucky, on Dec. 10, 2021.(WSMV)
Updated: Dec. 16, 2021 at 7:18 PM CST
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MAYFIELD, Ky. (WSMV) - A Paducah, KY, woman who went live on Facebook from the Mayfield candle factory collapse feels both lucky and guilty to be alive.

Kyanna Parsons-Perez was planning to clock out early to celebrate her birthday on Friday. Instead, just after 9 p.m., she found herself crammed into a hallway with her coworkers, taking cover for a tornado warning.

“I just remember my ears started popping and the lights started flickering,” she said. “I remember swaying. It was just like a one, two, boom!”

It was the sound of the building collapsing.

It was all Parsons-Perez could do to keep calm for the nearly three hours she was buried under five feet of debris going live on Facebook. Her broadcast from inside the candle factory, in which you could hear her coworkers crying out for help, went viral.

“I said, ‘I’m going live.’ So, I went live because I just figured I could get more people. The more people that knew, plus me going live and just talking and rambling helped me stay calm,” Parsons-Perez said.

She kept her coworkers calm too, despite the thoughts going through her own mind.

“I thought about my kids. I was very afraid, especially once I learned there was five feet of debris on top of me because I’m thinking they’re going to move something and all this mess is going to fall on me,” Parsons-Perez said.

One by one, she watched as her coworkers were rescued. Parsons-Perez was finally rescued herself just after midnight on her 40th birthday.

“The word for me now is grateful. I’m just grateful,” she said.

Nearly a week after she survived a building collapse and nearly a week before Christmas, Parsons-Perez said it’s a weight you can’t see she carries now.

“My birthday was different, Christmas. Every day is different because I’m here,” Parsons-Perez said. “I’m so very grateful that I got out, but I feel some guilt because I’m walking around, I’m talking. I have coworkers who passed, who didn’t make it out, and other coworkers who are still in the hospital.”

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