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Tornado-ravaged community to be searched twice more

Tuesday - 5/21/2013, 12:30pm  ET

MOORE, Okla. (AP) -- The fire chief in Moore, Okla., says crews will search the entire community at least twice more to make sure that no survivors or victims have been overlooked.

New search and rescue teams moved in at dawn today, taking over from the 200 or so emergency responders who had worked all night, looking through blocks of homes and other structures that were destroyed by yesterday's massive tornado.

At least 24 people were killed, including at least seven children, and those numbers are expected to climb.

Authorities initially said as many as 51 people were dead.

Some of the search-and-rescue teams have been focusing their efforts on an elementary school where the storm ripped off the roof, knocked down walls and turned the playground into a mass of twisted plastic and metal, as students and teachers huddled in hallways and bathrooms. Children from the school are among the dead, but several students were pulled alive from under a collapsed wall and other debris.

The fire chief says officials are still trying to account for a handful of children who weren't found at the school but may have gone home early with their parents.

%@AP Links

159-v-37-(Warren Levinson, AP correspondent)--The AP's Warren Levinson is on the ground in Moore, Oklahoma, and sees devastation all around. Here's his report. (21 May 2013)

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161-c-14-(John Mone, AP correspondent)-"it for yourself"-AP correspondent John Mone describes the destruction at Plaza Towers Elementary School. (21 May 2013)

<> 00:14 "it for yourself"

GRAPHICSBANK: Homes damaged by tornado, Moore, Oklahoma, partial graphic (21 May 2013)

APPHOTO COBL106: The rubble of a destroyed neighborhood lay mixed together where it fell Tuesday, May 21, 2013 a day after a tornado moved through Moore, Okla. The huge tornado roared through the Oklahoma City suburb Monday, flattening entire neighborhoods and destroying an elementary school with a direct blow as children and teachers huddled against winds. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley) (21 May 2013)

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APPHOTO COBL102A: A member of a security team helps guard an area of rubble from a destroyed residential neighborhood, one day after a tornado moved through Moore, Okla., Tuesday, May 21, 2013. The huge tornado roared through the Oklahoma City suburb Monday, flattening entire neighborhoods and destroying an elementary school with a direct blow as children and teachers huddled against the winds. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley) (21 May 2013)

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