Massive tornado rips through Oklahoma City suburbs

20 May
Photo by Google

Photo by Google

A gigantic tornado has ripped through a suburb of Oklahoma City, on the second day in a row the Midwestern state of Oklahoma has been slammed by twisters. The “mile-wide” storm destroyed a primary school, sparked fires, and flattened homes.

Scores of primary school children are believed to be trapped under the debris, local media reported.

On Sunday, at least two people died and 21 more were injured by the tornadoes that also razed a mobile home park.

Children are being pulled alive from the wreckage of Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Oklahoma, a suburb just south of Oklahoma City where the twister struck about 16:00 local time (22:00 BST) on Monday.

There have been no reports of children injured or killed there.

Volunteers and first responders could be seen picking through the rubble in aerial news footage.

The National Weather Service (NWS) said Monday’s tornado generated winds of up to 200mph (321km/h).

“It’s going to take awhile to recover from something like this,” Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole told CNN.

Tornadoes, hail and high winds also hit Iowa and Kansas, part of a storm system stretching from Texas to Minnesota.

‘Everything is gone’

On Sunday, a tornado smashed a trailer park on Highway 102 near Shawnee.

Oklahoma’s state medical examiner confirmed on Monday that two people had been killed near the trailer park: Glen Irish, 79, and Billy Hutchinson, 76.

Both lived in Shawnee, but it was not immediately clear if either or both lived in mobile home park.

The Oklahoman newspaper reported that five people were brought to Norman Regional Hospital for injuries, with three injured critically.

Thousands of residents in the affected areas have been left without power.

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin declared a state of emergency in 16 counties in order to send aid to the worst-hit parts of the state.

At least four tornadoes ravaged the state on Sunday, part of a storm system that was moving north-east across the Midwestern states and Texas.

“Right now we’re in a rescue and recovery stage,” Gov Fallin said. “We’re still not in the clear yet.”

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