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37 Killed in Oklahoma Tornado; Death Toll to Rise

Posted by on May. 20, 2013 at 8:56 PM
  • 60 Replies

MOORE, Oklahoma (AP) - A monstrous tornado as much as a mile (1.6 kilometers) wide roared through the Oklahoma City suburbs, killing at least 37, flattening entire neighborhoods with winds up to 200 mph (320 kilometers) and landing a direct blow on at least one school.

An Oklahoma Medical Examiner's Office spokeswoman said the death toll was expected to rise. Officials at two hospitals said they're treating nearly 60 patients, including more than a dozen children. At least 10 people were in critical condition.

WATCH LIVE: Weather Channel Coverage of Tornado Devastation

The storm of rare ferocity - less than 1 percent of all tornadoes reach such wind speed - ripped through scores of buildings in Moore, south of the city. Block after block of the community lay in ruins. Cars and trucks were left crumpled.

Oklahoma TornadoesThe National Weather Service issued an initial finding that the tornado was an EF-4 on the enhanced Fujita scale, the second most powerful type of twister.

In video of the storm, the dark funnel cloud could be seen moving slowly across the landscape, scattering shards of wood, pieces of insulation, shingles and glass over the streets.

At Plaza Towers Elementary School, the storm tore off the roof, knocked down walls and turned the playground into a mass of twisted plastic and metal.

Several children were pulled alive from the rubble. Rescue workers passed the survivors down a human chain to a triage center in the parking lot.

James Rushing, who lives across the street from the school, heard reports of the approaching tornado and ran to the school, where his 5-year-old foster son, Aiden, attends classes. Rushing believed he would be safer there.

"About two minutes after I got there, the school started coming apart," he said.

The students were placed in the restroom.

Downed power lines and open gas lines posed a risk in the aftermath of the storm, Police Capt. Dexter Nelson said.

The same suburb was hit hard by a tornado in 1999. That storm had the distinction of producing the highest winds ever recorded near the Earth's surface - 302 mph (486 kph).

by on May. 20, 2013 at 8:56 PM
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Replies (1-10):
annabl1970
by Platinum Member on May. 20, 2013 at 8:57 PM

Prayers for all kids in that school and all people of Oklahoma

 

annabl1970
by Platinum Member on May. 20, 2013 at 8:59 PM

51 dead Oh My God so sad.

Kids are missing...

Carpy
by Ruby Member on May. 20, 2013 at 9:00 PM

Such a sad day, I hope the death toll doesn't go up, but no doubt it will.  Especially with the recovery of the third graders.

ashellbell
by shellbark on May. 20, 2013 at 9:00 PM
They're assumed dead. With the debris included, the tornado got over 2 miles wide.


Quoting annabl1970:

51 dead Oh My God so sad.


Kids are missing...


ashellbell
by shellbark on May. 20, 2013 at 9:01 PM
1 mom liked this
And the neighborhood behind it. They said the cries for help stopped about an hour ago. Smh.


Quoting Carpy:

Such a sad day, I hope the death toll doesn't go up, but no doubt it will.  Especially with the recovery of the third graders.


annabl1970
by Platinum Member on May. 20, 2013 at 9:01 PM

 

Oh My God.

I hope they are NOT

Quoting ashellbell:

They're assumed dead. With the debris included, the tornado got over 2 miles wide.


Quoting annabl1970:

51 dead Oh My God so sad.


Kids are missing...



 

annabl1970
by Platinum Member on May. 20, 2013 at 9:02 PM

 

My heart hurts

Quoting ashellbell:

And the neighborhood behind it. They said the cries for help stopped about an hour ago. Smh.


Quoting Carpy:

Such a sad day, I hope the death toll doesn't go up, but no doubt it will.  Especially with the recovery of the third graders.



 

annabl1970
by Platinum Member on May. 20, 2013 at 9:03 PM

 

Yes I hope too

I am praying for them

Quoting Carpy:

Such a sad day, I hope the death toll doesn't go up, but no doubt it will.  Especially with the recovery of the third graders.


 

ashellbell
by shellbark on May. 20, 2013 at 9:04 PM
It's been switched from search and rescue to search and recovery. They believe there's about 30 dead children in there. This is why my daughter stayed home from school today, I knew it would be bad.


Quoting annabl1970:

 


Oh My God.


I hope they are NOT


Quoting ashellbell:

They're assumed dead. With the debris included, the tornado got over 2 miles wide.



Quoting annabl1970:


51 dead Oh My God so sad.



Kids are missing...





 


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