At least seven people have been killed after tornadoes ripped through central US, destroying buildings and a petrol station that was sheltering dozens of people.

Severe storms formed over Texas and Oklahoma on Saturday night, with Cooke County north of Dallas, Texas among the hardest-hit areas.

Cooke County Sheriff Ray Sappington said five people had been killed, adding that the number of casualties was expected to rise.

“We’re still in search and rescue mode right now. I hope we can still find survivors,” he told US media.

“We do have five confirmed, but sadly we think that number is probably going to go up. The devastation is pretty severe.”

Footage showed a petrol station almost completely destroyed, with twisted metal littered over damaged vehicles.

In Oklahoma, two people were killed in Mayes County and six others injured, the local emergency management authority told the BBC.

The storms overturned lorries and shut down a highway near Dallas.

The National Weather Service issued tornado warnings for parts of Texas and Oklahoma on Saturday, an area already in the grip of extreme heat.

The Central Plains of the United States are nicknamed Tornado Alley.

Their location and climate mean they are highly prone to some of the most destructive tornadoes on the planet.

May is typically the most active month of the year for severe tornadoes.

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