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2 Schools Decimated by Oklahoma Twister,

 

First responders are in a race against time in the search for any survivors of a devastating tornado that ripped through Moore, Okla., killing at least 51 people, including 20 children, and destroying homes and businesses in a 12-mile path, officials said.

Spokeswoman Amy Elliott of the Oklahoma City Medical Examiner's office said she believes at least 91 people are dead. Elliott said an additional 40 bodies are being moved to the medical examiner's office, but she was unable to say how many of those bodies were children.

Two elementary schools were in the path of Monday's tornado, which the National Weather Service gave a preliminary rating of at least EF-4, meaning churning wind speeds of up to 200 mph. The Oklahoma chief medical examiner said at least 20 children were confirmed dead.

Oklahoma City police spokesman Sgt. Gary Knight said at least seven of them were from Plaza Towers Elementary School.

RELATED: How to Help Oklahoma Tornado Victims

Moore Mayor Glenn Lewis and National Guard members told ABC News the search-and-rescue operation at the school is now a body-recovery effort.

"The walls were just pancaked, absolutely flattened and the students were just grouped together," Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb told ABC News.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin tweeted late Monday night that she visited with search crews at the elementary school. "Appreciate their hard work and tireless dedication," she tweeted.

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Views: 662 Submitted: 05/21/2013