51 Dead After Tornado Hits Near Oklahoma City | NECN

51 Dead After Tornado Hits Near Oklahoma City

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Catastrophic tornado tears through Moore, Okla. (Published Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014)

    (NECN: Alysha Palumbo) - There was a desperate search through the rubble of an Oklahoma City-area elementary school Monday night as hundreds of first responders and volunteers tried to work through the massive amount of debris left behind by the devastating tornado.

    NBC affiliate KFOR is reporting at least seven children's bodies were pulled from the Plaza Towers Elementary School, found drowned at the bottom of the school.

    A KFOR reporter was overcome with emotion as he reported rescuers were searching for 20-30 students still missing.

    "This is without question the most horrific..." said the reporter, choking up and trailing off, "I've ever seen..."

    Across town, more bad news as residents searched for their neighbors and friends.

    "There were about five of us who headed over this way and we just, minor injuries compared to - and we just started grabbing and throwing debris trying to get anybody out, and we successfully got people out just not alive," said one woman.

    Despite the view from the air showing a mile to two mile swath of neighborhoods flattened, there were amazing survival stories already emerging.

    "The windows started busting through, the twister was just right there, I could hear it and I said, 'Oh no, you're not going to get me,' and I got the dog, ran in there in the bath tub, threw the pillows in the bathtub and said, 'Come on, Ginger,'" said one woman named Elizabeth. "All I remember is hitting my head and trying to get into the bathtub. I got picked up and thrown down to the ground and I could remember I was on top of the dog and I could hear her just whimpering."

    "We thought we died because we were inside the cellar door, we locked the cellar door once we saw it coming, it got louder and next thing you know, is you see the latch coming undone and we couldn't reach for it," said survivor Ricky Stover. "It ripped open the door and just glass and debris started slamming on us, we thought we were dead to be honest."