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May 21, 2013
Crews race to find survivors of Oklahoma twister

MOORE, Okla. (AP) -- Emergency crews searched the broken remnants of an Oklahoma City suburb Tuesday for survivors of a massive tornado that flattened homes and demolished an elementary school. At least 24 people were killed, including at least nine children, and those numbers were expected to climb.

As the sun rose over the shattered community of Moore, the state medical examiner's office cut the estimated death toll by more than half but warned that the number was likely to climb again.

Spokeswoman Amy Elliott said she believes some victims were counted twice in the early chaos of the storm that struck Monday afternoon. Downed communication lines and problems sharing information with officers exacerbated the problem, she said.

(55 images)




Teachers carry children away from Briarwood Elementary school after a tornado destroyed the school in south Oklahoma City, Monday, May 20, 2013. The Oklahoman / Paul Hellstern
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A tornado passes across south Oklahoma City, Monday, May 20, 2013. The Oklahoman / Paul Hellstern
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Moore police dig through the rubble of the Plaza Towers Elementary School following a tornado in Moore, Okla., Monday, May 20, 2013. AP / Sue Ogrocki
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Rescue workers dig through the rubble of a collapsed wall at the Plaza Tower Elementary School to free trapped students in Moore, Okla., following a tornado Monday, May 20, 2013. AP / Sue Ogrocki
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Left: 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. Right: 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. AP / Sue Ogrocki
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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. AP / Sue Ogrocki
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A woman is pulled out from under tornado debris at the Plaza Towers School in Moore, Okla., Monday, May 20, 2013. AP / Sue Ogrocki
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A woman is pulled out from under the rubble in Moore, Oklahoma, Monday, May 20, 2013 after a tornado with an initial classification of EF-4 struck the town. MCT / Gene Blevins
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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. AP / Sue Ogrocki
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A woman carries an injured child to a triage center near the Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Okla., Monday, May 20, 2013. AP / Sue Ogrocki
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Emergency workers pull out a woman that was trapped in a building that was destroyed off of 4th Street and Interstate 35 after a tornado ripped through Moore, Okla., Monday May 20, 2013. The Transcript / Kyle Phillips
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A tornado victim is wheels to an ambulance at 147th and Hudson , Monday, May 20, 2013. The Oklahoman / David McDaniel
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A Moore Medical Center patient sits in the parking lot after a tornado damaged the hospital in Moore, Okla. on Monday, May 20, 2013. AP / Alonzo Adams
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Rachel Hilton holds stray kittens she found in the debris of her parents' home at SW 149th and Stone Meadows Dr. after a tornado struck south Oklahoma City and Moore, Okla., Monday, May 20, 2013. The Oklahoman / Nate Billings
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A woman carries a child through a field near the collapsed Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Okla., Monday, May 20, 2013. AP / Sue Ogrocki
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Cindy Wilson texts to friends after her home was destroyed in the afternoon tornado. Cindy and her husband, Staff Sgt. B. Wilson, took cover in their home's bathtub when the tornado hit. Cindy received a deep gash to her forehead and her wound was treated by first responders at the scene. The Oklahoman / Jim Beckel
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Rebekah Stuck hugs her son, Aiden Stuck, 7, after she found him in front of the destroyed Briarwood Elementary after a tornado struck south Oklahoma City and Moore, Okla., Monday, May 20, 2013. Aiden Stuck was inside the school when it was hit. The Oklahoman / NATE BILLINGS
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Children wait for their parents to arrive at Briarwood Elementary school after a tornado destroyed the school in south Oklahoma City, Okla, Monday, May 20, 2013. Near SW 149th and Hudson. The Oklahoman / PAUL HELLSTERN
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A man searches debris near Telephone Road and SW 4th after a tornado moves through Moore, Okla. on Monday, May 20, 2013. AP / Alonzo Adams
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Two men attempt to pry open a door on this car to check for victims in a business parking lot west of I-35 south of 4th Street in Moore, on Monday, May 20, 2013 The Oklahoman / Jim Beckel
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Allen Anderson surveys the damage to his home, Monday, May 20, 2013 in Moore, Okla. The Oklahoman / Steve Sisney
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Two men go through the damage surrounding the Moore Medical Center and damaged vehicles after a tornado moves through Moore, Okla. on Monday, May 20, 2013. AP / Alonzo Adams
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People go through the debris near Telephone Road and SW 4th Street after a tornado moves through Moore, Okla. on Monday, May 20, 2013. AP / Alonzo Adams
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Kay James holds her cat as she sits in her driveway after her home was destroyed by the tornado that hit the area on Monday, May 20, 2013 in Oklahoma City, Okla. The Oklahoman / Chris Landsberger
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Searchers rest outside the Briarwood Elementary School after the tornado destroyed the school , Monday, May 20, 2013. The Oklahoman / David McDaniel
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Two men stand in front of Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Okla., after a tornado destroyed a tornado on Monday, May 20, 2013. The Oklahoman / BRYAN TERRY
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People react in front of the Plaza Towers Elementary school in Moore following a deadly tornado, Monday, May 20, 2013. The Oklahoman / Sarah Phipps
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Clark Gardner, at left, and another man place an American flag on debris in a neighborhood off of Telephone Road in Moore, Okla., after a tornado moved through the area on Monday, May 20, 2013. The Oklahoman / BRYAN TERRY
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People walk through a neighborhood south of SW 149th between Western and Hudson after a tornado struck south Oklahoma City and Moore, Okla., Monday, May 20, 2013. The Oklahoman / NATE BILLINGS
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Mary Barnhill, left, sits next to her daughter-in-law Brenda Barnhill after a tornado destroyed the home of Brenda Barnhill and her husband Larry Barnhill, Mary's son, near SW 149th and Vicki Dr., when a tornado struck south Oklahoma City and Moore, Okla., Monday, May 20, 2013. The Oklahoman / NATE BILLINGS
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Workers continue to dig through the rubble of Plaza Towers Elementary School after a tornado moved through Moore, Okla., Monday, May 20, 2013. AP / Sue Ogrocki
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Glenn Rusk hugs his neighbor Sherie Loman outside her home north of Briarwood Elementary School after a tornado moved through the area, in Moore, Okla., Monday, May 20, 2013. The Oklahoman / David McDaniel
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JoAnn Anderson sorts through the rubble of her home after a tornado on Monday, May 20, 2013 in Moore, Okla. The Oklahoman / Steve Sisney
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A woman walks near a destroyed home, Monday, May 20, 2013 in Moore, Okla. The Oklahoman / Steve Sisney
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This aerial photo shows the remains of homes hit by a massive tornado in Moore, Okla., Monday May 20, 2013. AP / Steve Gooch
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This aerial photo shows the remains of homes hit by a massive tornado in Moore, Okla., Monday May 20, 2013. AP / Steve Gooch
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This aerial photo shows the remains of homes hit by a massive tornado in Moore, Okla., Monday May 20, 2013. AP / Steve Gooch
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This aerial photo shows the remains of homes hit by a massive tornado in Moore, Okla., Monday May 20, 2013. AP / Steve Gooch
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This aerial photo shows the remains of homes hit by a massive tornado in Moore, Okla., Monday May 20, 2013. AP / Steve Gooch
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This aerial photo shows the remains of homes hit by a massive tornado in Moore, Okla., Monday May 20, 2013. AP / Steve Gooch
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This aerial photo shows the remains of homes hit by a massive tornado in Moore, Okla., Monday May 20, 2013. AP / Steve Gooch
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This aerial photo shows the remains of homes hit by a massive tornado in Moore, Okla., Monday May 20, 2013. AP / Steve Gooch
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This aerial photo shows the remains of homes hit by a massive tornado in Moore, Okla., Monday May 20, 2013. AP / Steve Gooch
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This aerial photo shows the remains of homes hit by a massive tornado in Moore, Okla., Monday May 20, 2013. AP / Steve Gooch
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This aerial photo shows the remains of houses in Moore, Okla., following a tornado Monday, May 20, 2013. AP / Steve Gooch
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This aerial photo shows the remains of homes hit by a massive tornado in Moore, Okla., Monday May 20, 2013. AP / Steve Gooch
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This aerial photo shows damage to Plaza Towers Elementary School after it was hit by a massive tornado in Moore, Okla., Monday May 20, 2013. AP / Steve Gooch
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This aerial photo shows damage to Plaza Towers Elementary School after it was hit by a massive tornado in Moore, Okla., Monday May 20, 2013. AP / Steve Gooch
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This aerial photo shows damage to the Plaza Towers Elementary School after massive tornado hit Moore, Okla., Monday May 20, 2013. AP / Steve Gooch
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This aerial photo shows damage to buildings hit by a massive tornado in Moore, Okla., Monday May 20, 2013. AP / Steve Gooch
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This aerial photo shows damage to Plaza Towers Elementary School after it was hit by a massive tornado in Moore, Okla., Monday May 20, 2013. AP / Steve Gooch
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This aerial photo shows damage to Moore Medical Center after it was hit by a massive tornado in Moore, Okla., Monday May 20, 2013. AP / Steve Gooch
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This aerial photo shows damage to Moore Medical Center after it was hit by a massive tornado in Moore, Okla., Monday May 20, 2013. AP / Steve Gooch
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This aerial photo shows the Moore Medical center in Moore, Okla., following a tornado Monday, May 20, 2013. AP / Steve Gooch
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At sunrise Tuesday May 21, 2013, an American flag blows in the wind atop the rubble of a destroyed home in Moore, Okla. AP / Brennan Linsley

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