At Plaza Towers Elementary School, the tornado tore the roof off, and authorities kept hysterical parents back because it was too loud to hear screams for help. A teacher told NBC affiliate KFOR that she draped herself on top of six children in a bathroom to shelter them.
It was not clear how many children were trapped. Students in fourth, fifth and sixth grade were evacuated to a church, but students in lower grades had sheltered in place, KFOR reported. More than two hours after the tornado struck, several children were pulled out alive.
Moore, Oklahoma is a target for tornadoes. As Buzzfeed notes, it’s the fourth to hit the city since 1999. The tornado in 1999, which caused $1.1 billion in damage, was the third-costliest in U.S. history; 36 people died in that tornado.