Carey Gillam and Ian Simpson
Reuters via Yahoo News
Tue, 21 May 2013 11:55 CDT
Emergency workers pulled more than 100 survivors from the rubble of homes, schools and a hospital in an Oklahoma town hit by a powerful tornado, and officials lowered the death toll from the storm to 24, including nine children.
The 2-mile (3-km) wide
tornado tore through Moore outside Oklahoma City on Monday afternoon, trapping victims beneath the rubble, wiping out entire neighborhoods and tossing vehicles about as if they were toys.
Seven of the nine children who were killed died at Plaza Towers Elementary School, which took a direct hit, but many more survived unhurt.
© REUTERS/Gene Blevins
People look at the destruction after a huge tornado struck Moore, Oklahoma May 20, 2013.
"They literally were lifting walls up and kids were coming out," Oklahoma State Police Sergeant Jeremy Lewis said. "They pulled kids out from under cinder blocks without a scratch on them."
The Oklahoma state medical examiner's office said 24 bodies had been recovered from the wreckage, down from the 51 they had reported earlier. The earlier number likely reflected some double-counted deaths, said Amy Elliott, chief administrative officer for the medical examiner.
"There was a lot of chaos," she said.