Liaoning resident Li Yuan said he owns a factory just 500 meters (yards) from where the tornado struck. His workers told him they initially thought it was "just a large cloud." "But when it came closer, they felt a strong gust of wind," Li said in a phone interview. "All the trash, papers and leaves on the ground were blown into the sky. We heard ambulance and police car sirens all night."
The tornado damaged factories and equipment in an industrial park, CCTV said. More than 210 people have been rescued, and another 1,600 were evacuated. Power will be restored to homes sometime Thursday, while businesses will regain power in the next three days, CCTV said.
Tornados are rare in China. In 2016, a tornado and accompanying hailstorm killed 98 people in eastern Jiangsu province.
Associated Press researcher Yu Bing contributed to this report.