Tornado destroys Oklahoma City area neighborhoods: 51 killed, state medical official says

Police: School directly hit by twister

OKLAHOMA CITY - The Oklahoma Medical Examiner's Office says 51 people have been killed in Monday's tornado, and the death toll is expected to rise.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin said "hearts are broken" for parents who are wondering about the fate of their children after the tornado that devastated suburban Oklahoma City.

Fallin said a communications center has been set up Monday at a church in Moore, where an afternoon tornado flattened entire neighborhoods and destroyed an elementary school with a direct hit. She said responders are working as quickly as they can to sort through the rubble.

Officials at two hospitals say they're treating more than 120 patients, including about 70 children, after the massive tornado hit suburban Oklahoma City.

OU Medical Center spokesman Scott Coppenbarger said the hospital and a nearby children's hospital are treating approximately 85 patients, including 65 children, after Monday afternoon's twister.

He said their conditions ranged from minor injuries to critical.

Integris Southwest Medical Center spokeswoman Brooke Cayot said 10 of 37 patients being treated at that facility Monday are listed in critical condition. Twelve are in serious and 15 others are listed in fair or good condition.

Cayot said five of the patients at Integris are children, including two who came from the Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Okla.

Meanwhile, authorities said search-and-rescue efforts will continue through the night.

The suburb of Moore was hit hard by a tornado in 1999. The storm had the highest winds ever recorded near the earth's surface.

Video below provided by KJRH in Tulsa, Okla.

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