CNN is reporting that the death toll from today’s massive tornado in Moore, Oklahoma is now at least 91. That’s 40 more dead than they had been previously reported, with scores of people – many of them children – still missing. Here is the earlier report:
Moore, Oklahoma (CNN) — Rescue workers raced against time and darkness Monday night looking for survivors after a powerful tornado blasted an area outside of Oklahoma City, leveling homes and leaving at least 51 people dead.
At least 20 of the dead were children, including at least seven from Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, which lay directly in the path of the monster storm’s wall of wind.
Seventy-five students and staff members had been huddled at the school when the tornado hit, CNN affiliate KFOR reported.
As nightfall descended, determined searchers in hard hats dug in the debris for those possibly trapped, but authorities described the work as a recovery, not rescue, effort. Search lights illuminated their efforts.
A father of a third-grader still missing sat quietly on a stool. Tears fell from his face as he waited for news.
KFOR is live-streaming local coverage here.
Update (May 21, 2012): Authorities have lowered the death toll to 24. While there are still some people unaccounted for, there’s little chance the death toll will rise to the levels reported above. Sadly, nine of the confirmed dead were children.