Officials reduce Joplin tornado death toll to 161

Friday, November 11, 2011 | 7:53 p.m. CST

JOPLIN — Officials say the death toll from Joplin's May 22 tornado has fallen to 161, with the discovery that an Oklahoma man was included by mistake.

The city of Joplin said Friday the Jasper County coroner has determined that 56-year-old Kenneth J. Henson did not die of tornado-related causes. The city's announcement also said Henson, initially listed as a resident of Joplin, was from Ottawa County in northeastern Oklahoma and died there.

Joplin officials said coroner Rob Chappel discovered the error during preparations for a six-month memorial observance.

Chappel was designated as the sole official in charge of compiling the victims list in the weeks after the tornado. He told The Joplin Globe on Friday he did not know how Henson's name had been included.


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