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Up to TWENTY-FOUR children feared dead in rubble of flattened elementary school after giant TWO-MILE tornado rips through densely-populated suburb of Oklahoma City

Tuesday, May 21, 2013
By ASSOCIATED PRESS and LYDIA WARREN

Recovery: The heartbreaking recovery mission at Plaza Towers Elementary School continued into the night

Rescuers have uncovered the bodies of seven children believed to have drowned in a pool of water under the flattened Plaza Towers Elementary School and up to 30 more students are feared dead after a two mile-wide tornado touched down in a highly-populated suburb of Oklahoma City on Monday.

An American flag sits among devastation after the massive twister barreled through Moore, Oklahoma

Search teams on site had reported hearing cries for help from beneath the rubble at the elementary school that was obliterated in the worst storm the area of Moore has ever seen but these screams reportedly stopped at around 6:30 p.m. and shortly after it was reported that the search and rescue mission had become a recovery mission with scores of little ones feared buried under the rubble.

A destroyed house remains after a huge tornado struck Moore, Oklahoma, near Oklahoma City

The monstrous tornado roared through the Oklahoma City suburbs obliterating entire neighborhoods with winds up to 200 mph pulverizing a 30-square-mile stretch. Block after block lay in ruins. Homes were crushed into piles of broken wood. Cars and trucks were left crumpled on the roadside.
Frantic parents rushed to the school, which was directly hit when the massive storm that has been given a preliminary rating of EF-4 on the enhanced Fujita scale barreled through the area of 170,000 residents shortly after 3pm Monday.

Devastation: A woman carries her child through a field near the collapsed Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Oklahoma, today after the devastating tornado

The families were later taken to a nearby church to await news of their children.
KWTV reports that at least 51 people in the area of Moore, Oklahoma, have now been confirmed dead by the Medical Examiner's Office, of which at more than 20 are children. Among the dead are a three-month-old baby, a four-year-old child and three adults who were killed at a 7-Eleven. Local hospitals said that more than 120 injured residents had flooded into emergency rooms, including more than 70 children - but these numbers are expected to rise.

A fire burns in the Tower Plaza Addition in Moore, Oklahoma

Around 80 National Guard member were deployed and first responders with dogs were drafted in to help search the debris at Plaza Towers elementary before nightfall made the recovery effort more difficult.
Devastating aerial images taken immediately afterwards show the school - as well as hundreds of homes and businesses - completely leveled with cars that have been thrown into the school grounds by the storm. Students who were inside the building described clinging to the walls of the hallway where many of them huddled during the storm as the twister battered the school. Others cowered in closets or bathrooms to protect themselves.

A boy is pulled from beneath a collapsed wall at the Plaza Towers Elementary School

Survivors: A child is pulled from the rubble of the Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Oklahoma, and passed along to rescuers

Flattened: Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore before and after today's tornado

A monstrous tornado roared through the Oklahoma City suburbs, flattening entire neighborhoods with winds up to 200 mph, setting buildings on fire and landing a direct blow on an elementary school

Worst in memory: This detailed map of downtown Moore, Oklahoma, locates the path of Monday's devastating tornado and compares it to the path of the 1999 tornado, which had the most powerful winds ever recorded

This aerial photo shows the remains of houses in Moore after the tornado, which flattened entire neighborhoods, setting buildings on fire and landing a direct blow on an elementary school

This aerial photo shows the Moore Medical center in Moore, Oklahoma, following Monday's devastating twister

Horror: Teachers carry children away from Briarwood Elementary school after a tornado destroyed the school in south Oklahoma City

A teacher hugs a child at Briarwood Elementary school after a tornado destroyed the school in south Oklahoma City

Overturned cars are seen after a huge tornado touched down in the town of Moore

Brave: A boy is pulled from beneath a collapsed wall at the Plaza Towers Elementary School following a tornado in Moore, Oklahoma

Fear: A child calls to his father after being pulled from the rubble of the Tower Plaza Elementary School

Rescuers recover a horse from the remains of a day care center and destroyed barns

Kay James holds her cat as she sits in her driveway after her home was destroyed by the tornado that hit the area on Monday

A man and two children walk through debris after a huge tornado struck Moore where at least 51 people were killed as winds of up to 200 miles per hour flattened entire tracts of homes, two schools and a hospital

Parents reunite with their children at Briarwood Elementary school after a tornado destroyed the school in south Oklahoma City







source: dailymail