At least 91 people, including 20 children, were feared killed when a 2 mile wide tornado tore through an Oklahoma City suburb, trapping victims beneath the rubble as one elementary school took a direct hit and another was destroyed,
President Barack Obama declared a major disaster area in Oklahoma, ordering federal aid to supplement state and local efforts in Moore after the deadliest U.S. tornado since one killed 161 people in Joplin, Missouri, two years ago.
Emergency crews were desperately searching the wreckage of Plaza Towers Elementary School that took a direct hit from the tornado on Monday afternoon, Oklahoma Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb told CNN.
Another elementary school, homes and a hospital were among the buildings leveled, leaving residents of the town of about 50,000 people stunned at the devastation and loss of life.
The Oklahoma medical examiner said 20 of the 91 expected to have been killed were children. The office had already confirmed 51 dead and had been told by emergency services to expect 40 more bodies found in the debris, but had not yet received them.