Oklahoma School Takes Direct Hit from Large Tornado

Mile-wide tornado hits Oklahoma City suburb of Moore killing at least 50

 

 
 
 

TIM TALLEY, Associated Press | | Monday, May 20, 2013

GALLERIES

Multimedia Thumb

Massive Tornado Strikes Oklahoma City Suburb

Neighborhoods in Moore flattened and blown apart.
More >



VIDEOS

Multimedia Thumb

Massive Tornado Touches Down in Oklahoma

Mile-wide tornado hits Oklahoma City suburb or Moore.
more >


Multimedia Thumb

Large Tornado Rips Through Neighborhoods South of Oklahoma City

A monster tornado ripped through southern Oklahoma City and the suburb of Moore on Monday afternoon, leaving homes and schools in ruins and fires burning out of control. There was no immediate word on casualties, but aerial footage showed major destruction: homes in rubble, cars flipped over and crushed, residents milling around in shock.
more >





Live Audio Links: Oklahoma County Fire, EMS, Police
Courtesy of Broadcastify.com

Additional AP Update 10:32 pm ET
Officials at two hospitals say they've been treating more than 140 patients, including about 70 children, since a massive tornado hit suburban Oklahoma City.

Spokeswoman Brooke Cayot (KAY'-ot) says nine of 57 patients who are being treated at the Integris Southwest Medical Center were listed in critical condition after Monday afternoon's tornado. Nineteen were in serious condition and 29 were listed in fair or good condition.

She said five of the patients were children who have since been treated and released.

OU Medical Center spokesman Scott Coppenbarger says his hospital and a nearby children's hospital are treating approximately 85 patients, including 65 children.

He said those patients ranged from minor injuries to critical condition.

Additonal AP Update 9:12 p.m. ET:
The Oklahoma Medical Examiner's Office says a growing death toll from a massive tornado that struck outside Oklahoma City on Monday afternoon now stands at 51. Spokeswoman Amy Elliott says the death toll is again expected to rise. Elliott says children are among those killed by the storm.
- - -

MOORE, Oklahoma (AP) - A monstrous tornado of rare power roared through an Oklahoma City suburb, killing at least 51, flattening neighborhoods with winds up to 200 mph (320 kilometers) and destroying at least one school. Officials said children were among the dead.

The death toll was expected to rise, an Oklahoma Medical Examiner's Office spokeswoman said. More than 120 people were being treated at hospitals, including about 70 children. Some were in critical condition.

FFN/FRM:
Best Practices for Tornado Response (Walker)

Preplanning & strong, effective command are critical

"Hearts are broken" for parents looking for their children, Governor Mary Fallin told a news conference.

The storm — less than 1 percent of all tornadoes reach such wind speed — ripped through scores of buildings in the suburb of Moore in a region of the U.S. known as Tornado Alley. Block after block lay in ruins. Cars and trucks were left crumpled.

The National Weather Service estimated that the tornado reached up to a half-mile (.8 kilometers) wide and was an EF-4 on the enhanced five-point Fujita scale, the second most powerful type of twister.

In video footage, the dark funnel cloud moved slowly across the landscape, scattering shards of wood, pieces of insulation, shingles and glass over the streets.

The focus quickly turned to Plaza Towers Elementary School, where 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 them down a human chain to a triage center in the parking lot.

James Rushing, who lives across the street, 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 put in the restroom.

After the tornado roaded through, Tiffany Thronesberry said she got a panicked call from her mother, Barbara Jarrell.

"I got a phone call from her screaming, 'Help, help! I can't breathe. My house is on top of me!'" Thronesberry said. She hurried to her mother's house, where first responders had already pulled her out with cuts and bruises.

Dangers remained. Downed power lines and open gas lines posed a risk Monday night, Police Capt. Dexter Nelson said.

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

"Oklahoma City has had more tornado strikes than any other city in the United States," the city government's website says.

President Barack Obama called Fallin to express his concern.

Editor's Note:

Texas Task Force 1 (TX-TF1) along with the Incident Support Team (IST) cache has been activated by FEMA through the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) and will deploy from their facility in College Station to Oklahoma. The estimated time of departure is midnight. The team will assist the local jurisdictions in search and rescue operations across the affected area.  The 80 member TX-TF1 “White” Team is a Type 1 Urban Search & Rescue (US&R) Team consisting of Technical and Canine Search components along with Heavy Rescue personnel and equipment.  

Upon arrival, TX-TF1 will receive assignments from the local Incident Command and assist the jurisdictions as needed while setting up a Base of Operations (BoO) to continue the mission as long as necessary. The team is completely self-sufficient for 72 hours.

As a FEMA deployment future media updates will be coordinated through the local Joint Information Center (JIC).

Who is TX-TF1?
TX-TF1 is sponsored by the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) and has deployed over 90 times since 1997, including the Space Shuttle Columbia tragedy, Sept. 11th World Trade Center attack, and Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Ike. TX-TF1 can be activated by the Texas Division of Emergency Management or as one of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) 28 sanctioned urban search and rescue teams.

Members of TX-TF1 range from firefighters and medical personnel, to structural engineers, and come from all areas capable of reporting to College Station within a five-hour window.  The task force consists of three separate units of approximately 80 members each.  The teams rotate on a monthly standby, stand down or on call status.  The “White” Team is the task force currently on call for deployment.

Task Force Website: www.texastaskforce1.org
FaceBook: www.facebook.com/txtf1


Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.



Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Massive Tornado Touches Down in Oklahoma



Large Tornado Rips Through Neighborhoods South of Oklahoma City

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Massive Tornado Strikes Oklahoma City Suburb

Gallery 1

APMoore1.jpg

This photo provided by KFOR-TV shows a house fire outside Moore, Okla., Monday, May 20, 2013. A monstrous tornado as much as a mile wide roared through the Oklahoma City suburbs Monday, flattening entire neighborhoods, setting buildings on fire and landing a direct blow on an elementary school. (AP Photo/KFOR-TV)


Gallery 1

APMoore2.jpg

This photo provided by KFOR-TV shows a house fire outside Moore, Okla., Monday, May 20, 2013. A monstrous tornado as much as a mile wide roared through the Oklahoma City suburbs Monday, flattening entire neighborhoods, setting buildings on fire and landing a direct blow on an elementary school. (AP Photo/KFOR-TV)


Gallery 1

APMoore3.jpg

This photo provided by KFOR-TV shows homes flattened outside Moore, Okla., Monday, May 20, 2013. A monstrous tornado as much as a mile wide roared through the Oklahoma City suburbs Monday, flattening entire neighborhoods, setting buildings on fire and landing a direct blow on an elementary school. (AP Photo/KFOR-TV)


Gallery 1

APMoore4.jpg

A woman carries her child through a field near the collapsed Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Okla., Monday, May 20, 2013. A tornado as much as a mile (1.6 kilometers) wide with winds up to 200 mph (320 kph) roared through the Oklahoma City suburbs Monday, flattening entire neighborhoods, setting buildings on fire and landing a direct blow on an elementary school. (AP Photo Sue Ogrocki)


Gallery 1

Massive Tornado Strikes Oklahoma City Suburb

This combination of Associated Press photos shows left, a neighborhood in Moore, Okla., in ruins on Tuesday, May 4, 1999, after a tornado flattened many houses and buildings in central Oklahoma, and right, flattened houses in Moore on Monday, May 20, 2013. Monday's powerful tornado in suburban Oklahoma City loosely followed the path of a killer twister that slammed the region in May 1999. (AP Photo)


Gallery 1

Massive Tornado Strikes Oklahoma City Suburb

A child is carried from the rubble of the Plaza Towers Elementary School following a tornado in Moore, Okla., Monday, May 20, 2013. A tornado as much as a mile (1.6 kilometers) wide with winds up to 200 mph (320 kph) roared through the Oklahoma City suburbs Monday, flattening entire neighborhoods, setting buildings on fire and landing a direct blow on an elementary school. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)


Gallery 1

Massive Tornado Strikes Oklahoma City Suburb

A boy is pulled from beneath a collapsed wall at the Plaza Towers Elementary School following a tornado in Moore, Okla., Monday, May 20, 2013. A tornado as much as a mile (1.6 kilometer) wide with winds up to 200 mph (320 kph) roared through the Oklahoma City suburbs Monday, flattening entire neighborhoods, setting buildings on fire and landing a direct blow on the elementary school. (AP Photo Sue Ogrocki)


Gallery 1

Massive Tornado Strikes Oklahoma City Suburb

A fire burns in the Tower Plaza Addition in Moore, Okla., following a tornado Monday, May 20, 2013. A tornado as much as a mile wide with winds up to 200 mph roared through the Oklahoma City suburbs Monday, flattening entire neighborhoods, setting buildings on fire and landing a direct blow on an elementary school. (AP Photo Sue Ogrocki)


Gallery 1

Massive Tornado Strikes Oklahoma City Suburb

A child calls to his father after being pulled from the rubble of the Tower Plaza Elementary School following a tornado in Moore, Okla., Monday, May 20, 2013. A tornado as much as a mile (1.6 kilometers) wide with winds up to 200 mph (320 kph) roared through the Oklahoma City suburbs Monday, flattening entire neighborhoods, setting buildings on fire and landing a direct blow on the elementary school. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)


Gallery 1

Massive Tornado Strikes Oklahoma City Suburb

A child is pulled from the rubble of the Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Okla., and passed along to rescuers Monday, May 20, 2013. A tornado as much as a mile wide with winds up to 200 mph roared through the Oklahoma City suburbs Monday, flattening entire neighborhoods, setting buildings on fire and landing a direct blow on an elementary school. (AP Photo Sue Ogrocki)


Gallery 1

Massive Tornado Strikes Oklahoma City Suburb

A boy is pulled from beneath a collapsed wall at the Plaza Towers Elementary School following a tornado in Moore, Okla., Monday, May 20, 2013. A tornado as much as a mile (1.6 kilometer) wide with winds up to 200 mph (320 kph) roared through the Oklahoma City suburbs Monday, flattening entire neighborhoods, setting buildings on fire and landing a direct blow on the elementary school. (AP Photo Sue Ogrocki)


Gallery 1

Massive Tornado Strikes Oklahoma City Suburb

A woman carries an injured child to a triage center near the Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Okla., Monday, May 20, 2013. A tornado as much as a mile (1.6 kilometers) wide with winds up to 200 mph (320 kph) roared through the Oklahoma City suburbs Monday, flattening entire neighborhoods, setting buildings on fire and landing a direct blow on an elementary school. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)


Gallery 1

Massive Tornado Strikes Oklahoma City Suburb

A woman is pulled out from under tornado debris at the Plaza Towers School in Moore, Okla., Monday, May 20, 2013. A tornado as much as a mile (1.6 kilometers) wide with winds up to 200 mph (320 kph) roared through the Oklahoma City suburbs Monday, flattening entire neighborhoods, setting buildings on fire and landing a direct blow on an elementary school. (AP Photo Sue Ogrocki)



Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, Moore Tornado

 
What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS





 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Progress

Follow in the footsteps of these inspirational leaders of EMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Four Killed in New Mexico Medical Plane Crash

Crash near fairgrounds claims patient and crew of three.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Texas Ambulance Involved in Crash

Odessa ambulance and car collide during response.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Las Vegas Fire, AMR Reach New Deal

Tentative agreement reached over ambulance calls.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Fire Damages Several Homes in California Earthquake

Four homes destroyed and others damaged after quake rattles Napa.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Where in the World of EMS is A.J.? Scranton

JEMS Editor-in-Chief visits his hometown of Scranton, Pa.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Over 100 Injured in California Earthquake

172 patients treated at Napa hospital after 6.0-magnitude earthquake.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Numerous Rescues during Arizona Flooding

Severe flooding across the region prompted several rescues.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >