Efforts shift from rescue to recovery in tornado-hit Oklahoma

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Efforts shift from rescue to recovery in tornado-hit Oklahoma

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Search and rescue teams are continuing to scour rubble for survivors in tornado-ravaged Oklahoma. But with officials increasingly confident that everyone has been accounted for, efforts are also turning towards recovery in the suburb of Moore.

At least 24 people were killed when the powerful twister struck.

David Wheeler, whose son Gabriel was at Briarwood Elementary School, said: “You know, I was on the phone with my mum and she said that my son’s school got hit and it was just terrifying.”

“(Teacher) Miss (Julie) Simon took the kids from, I believe, a hallway into a closet area and she pushed them down, held them down, told them that they were just going to practice what they did before, and that’s what they did,” Wheeler continued.

Gabriel said: “It was really hard, I thought I was going to die. I was lifted up in the air, my glasses fell off. It was ‘thump, thump’ and the ceiling came off and all this stuff came on me.”

Another school, Plaza Towers Elementary, was flattened. At least seven children were killed at the site.

Nature’s wicked hand left Moore unrecognisable. It will take years for the shattered community to repair and rebuild.