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Oklahoma Tornado Death Toll Drops To 24
Updated: Tuesday, May 21 2013, 04:09 PM CDT
The state medical examiner's office in Oklahoma is expecting more victims of yesterday's deadly tornado to be found today.
For now, the official death toll stands at 24 -- revised downward from the initial tally of 51 dead. The higher number reflected double-counting that occurred on the ground and at funeral homes.
Nine of the dead are children.
The fire chief in Moore says crews will search the entire community at least twice more to make sure that no survivors or victims have been overlooked.
New search and rescue teams moved in at dawn today, taking over from the 200 or so emergency responders who had worked all night, looking through blocks of homes and other structures that were destroyed by yesterday's massive tornado.
Some of the search-and-rescue teams have been focusing their efforts on an elementary school where the storm ripped off the roof, knocked down walls and turned the playground into a mass of twisted plastic and metal, as students and teachers huddled in hallways and bathrooms. Children from the school are among the dead, but several students were pulled alive from under a collapsed wall and other debris.
The fire chief says officials are still trying to account for a handful of children who weren't found at the school but may have gone home early with their parents.
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