Monster tornado rips apart Oklahoma city, kills 51
The Oklahoma City Medical Examiner said at least 51 people died, including children, when a powerful, 320 Kms tornado ripped through the area yesterday, 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.
Hundreds of rescue personnel were pressed into service, as the devastating tornado packing winds flattened almost the entire city of Moore.
"The whole city looks like a debris field," said Mayor Glenn Lewis of Moore, which appeared to be hardest hit by the tornado.
Several school children were reportedly trapped in a pair of elementary school, which after the tornado piled into a 10 feet high debris.
"Our hearts are broken for parents who are wondering about the state of their children," said Governor Mary Fallin at a yesterday evening emergency press conference.
US President Barack Obama spoke with Fallin to express his concern for those who have been affected by the severe weather beginning last night and continuing today.
Local media reported heartbreaking scenes in the tornado hit areas. This tornado is being compared to the devastating, record-breaking May 3, 1999 tornado that ravaged the same area years ago," local KFOR news channel said.
"This is war-zone terrible," Jon Welsh, a helicopter pilot for KFOR who lives in Moore, said while surveying the damage from the air. "This school is completely gone," he added.