The Wal-Mart which collapsed after the tornado hit Virginia. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

A large tornado tore through a tri-city area about 20 miles south of Richmond, killing at least three people when a suburban Wal-Mart collapsed, and injuring more than 130 others. The storm smashed into a shopping mall in Colonial Heights, levelled much of downtown Petersburg’s historic district and blasted the roofs off apartment complexes in Hopewell. Interstate 95 was littered with overturned tractor-trailer trucks, as a series of storm-related accidents caused miles-long traffic tail-backs. Virginia Governor L. Douglas Wilder called out the National Guard to help local authorities overwhelmed by the storm, toured the stricken area by helicopter and promised to seek federal disaster aid to help repair damage estimated at tens of millions of dollars. The storm ripped a 100-foot-wide gash into the front of the Wal-Mart store, near the checkout counters, and flipped parked cars upside down.

Other major events on August 6

1914 Serbia and Montenegro declare war on Germany.

1926 American Gertrude Ederle becomes the first woman to swim across the English Channel.

1945 The first atomic bomb ever used in a war is dropped by the US on Hiroshima, Japan.

1965 US president Lyndon Johnson signs Voting Rights Act.

1986 William J. Schroeder dies after living 620 days with the “Jarvik 7” artificial heart.

1991 Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee publishes the world’s first website.

1993 Morihiro Hosokawa is elected Japanese prime minister.

1997 Korean Air jumbo jet carrying 254 persons slams into a mountain in Guam while trying to land during a night thunderstorm.

2005 Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is sworn in as Iranian president.

2011 A US military helicopter crashes in Afghanistan, killing 31 special operation troops and seven Afghan commandos.

2013 A powerful blast from a gas leak rips through a 10-storey apartment building in Rosario, Argentina, leaving at least eight dead.

2015 Egypt unveils a major extension of the Suez Canal in the port city of Esmailia.

2016 A fire apparently sparked by birthday cake candles tore through a bar in northern France, killing at least 13 people.

2017 At least 11 worshippers are shot dead at a church in southeast Nigeria.