A two-mile-wide tornado with winds up to 200 mph swept through Oklahoma on Monday, flattening buildings and killing at least 24 people, according to the state medical examiner’s office. Dozens were injured during the storm, which the National Weather Service rated as at least an EF4 twister in strength, with the death toll expected to rise. The Associated Press reports Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore took a direct hit and first responders have pulled several children from the rubble as they search for survivors. CNN reports 75 students and staff members were seeking safety inside the school when the tornado hit.
Local hospitals are treating more than 120 injured patients including more than 50 children. Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin said “hearts are broken” for parents who have yet to locate their children following the tornado’s devastation at Plaza Towers Elementary School. Gov. Fallin said the state legislature will consider using its rainy day fund to assist with recovery. Authorities say search and rescue efforts are expected to continue throughout the night.
Watch above as massive funnel clouds, sweep across the ground.
Local NBC affiliate KFOR recorded scenes of the widespread destruction across the area. Watch here:
The Associated Press contributed to this report.