MOORE, OK – Seven children found drowned in school and officials fear 24 more have perished after giant two-mile wide tornado pulverizes Oklahoma.
Two entire schools flattened in Moore, Oklahoma, after 200 mph winds pulverized a 30-square-mile stretch yesterday.
At least 24 people confirmed dead, authorities say, and at least another 240 injured in local hospitals.
Nine children are among the dead, including the seven found drowned in Plaza Towers.
Children were told to hold on to the walls, while teachers shielding the students with their bodies.
Hundreds of homes wiped out and more than 8,000 people left without power.
The devastating tornado was larger than 1999 storm in the area that left 36 people decade.
A desperate search is underway for survivors after a giant two-mile wide tornado roared through the suburbs of Oklahoma leaving 24 dead, including seven children who drowned in a pool of water at their school.
Plaza Towers Elementary was in the direct path of the giant twister and today rescuers were combing the debris to find 24 students who went missing after the building took a direct hit during 45 minutes of terror yesterday afternoon.
President Barack Obama has declared a major disaster area in Oklahoma, ordering federal aid to supplement state and local efforts in Moore.
Another elementary school, homes and a hospital were among the buildings leveled by the 200mph winds leaving residents of the town of about 50,000 people stunned at the devastation and loss of life. At least 240 people are injured – 60 of these children – though these numbers continue to rise.
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin expressed her grief on behalf of her state for the parents of the missing children, aged between five and eight, as the death toll across the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore escalated.
‘Our hearts are broken for the parents that are wondering about the state of their children that had been in the schools that have been hit today,’ Fallin said. ‘I know that there are families wondering where their loved ones are.’
She added that rescuers were ‘looking under every single piece of debris’ for the missing.