JOPLIN, Mo. - At least one Modine Manufacturing Co. employee in Joplin, Mo., lost a family member in Sunday's devastating tornado, the Racine-based company learned.

Modine spokesman Brian Agen said Monday the company was working to contact its approximately 240 employees at the Joplin plant. Although no employee was among the victims of the vicious twister, one employee lost a niece or nephew to the destruction, Agen said. The death count was 89 initially and up to 116 by late Monday afternoon.

At that time, Agen said Modine did not yet know the extent of any employee losses to the tornado. "We will probably have some folks unscathed, and some who lost everything."

The Modine plant was shut down Sunday night until second shift Monday because the tornado had disrupted the water supply. Third-shift employees who would have started at 11 p.m. Sunday began checking in on their own, some saying they could not get to work, Agen said. Company officials called first- and second-shift workers and did not hear of any fatalities.

The Joplin plant was not significantly damaged, Agen said. It is a three-shift, seven-day operation and makes exhaust gas recirculation coolers. Its biggest customer is Caterpillar.

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