UPDATE: Tornado-ravaged Community to be Searched Twice More

By: CBS News/ Associated Press Email
By: CBS News/ Associated Press Email

UPDATE: 5/21 at 10:35 a.m.

MOORE, Okla. (AP) -- The fire chief in Moore, Okla., says crews will search the entire community at least twice more to make sure that no survivors or victims have been overlooked.

New search and rescue teams moved in at dawn today, taking over from the 200 or so emergency responders who had worked all night, looking through blocks of homes and other structures that were destroyed by yesterday's massive tornado.

At least 24 people were killed, including at least nine children, and those numbers are expected to climb.

Authorities initially said as many as 51 people were dead.

Some of the search-and-rescue teams have been focusing their efforts on an elementary school where the storm ripped off the roof, knocked down walls and turned the playground into a mass of twisted plastic and metal, as students and teachers huddled in hallways and bathrooms. Children from the school are among the dead, but several students were pulled alive from under a collapsed wall and other debris.

The fire chief says officials are still trying to account for a handful of children who weren't found at the school but may have gone home early with their parents.

UPDATE: 8:10pm, Monday May 20

The Oklahoma City Medical Examiner said at least 51 people died, including children, when a powerful, 200-mph tornado ripped through the area Monday, and that they expect the death toll to climb.

Two hospitals confirmed they were treating a total of 120 injured, including about 70 children. The Moore City Police Department said it was impossible to put a final number on fatalities because there was still so much area to search, but officials expected the worst.

"Our hearts are broken for parents who are wondering about the state of their children," said Gov. Mary Fallin at a Monday evening emergency press conference.

The twister, one of several created by a storm system that swept through nation's midsection the past 36 hours, reduced homes and building to rubble in Moore, Okla., south of Oklahoma City. CBS News correspondent Anna Werner reports much of the area smelled of gas. An elementary, a high school, movie theater and hospital were among buildings hard hit.


(CBS News) A "large and extremely dangerous" tornado touched down near Oklahoma City, the National Weather Service confirmed, bringing more dangerous weather that has already claimed the lives of two people since Sunday.

The new twister is just one of several created by a storm system that swept through the nation's midsection Sunday and into Monday, with damage concentrated in central Oklahoma and Wichita, Kan. Twenty-one injuries have been reported so far.

Currently, a tornado watch is in effect for northeastern Oklahoma Counties.

Click here for more information including photos and videos from CBS News.

Join the Conversation!

To comment, the following rules must be followed:

  • No Obscenity, Profanity, Vulgarity, Racism or Violent Descriptions
  • No Negative Community Comparisons
  • No Fighting, Name-calling, or Personal Attacks
  • Multiple Accounts are Not Allowed
  • Stay on Story Topic

Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.

Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Questions may be sent to comments@wsaw.com.
Please provide detailed information.
All comments must adhere to the WSAW.com discussion rules.

powered by Disqus
WSAW-TV 1114 Grand Ave. Wausau, WI 54403
Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 208201911 - wsaw.com/a?a=208201911
Gray Television, Inc.