Okla. Coroner Drops Death Toll to 24

Including 7 kids, but fatalities still expected to rise

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted May 21, 2013 1:42 AM CDT | Updated May 21, 2013 9:14 AM CDT

(Newser) – The Oklahoma state medical examiner's office has dramatically dropped the confirmed death toll in yesterday's horrific tornado to 24, reports the AP. A spokeswoman said that some bodies were apparently counted twice in the chaotic aftermath of the storm, and that confusion was exacerbated by knocked-out communication lines. Seven children are among the dead, and the ME's office says the overall death toll is still expected to climb as rescue teams continue to search through rubble. Officials had initially reported 51 deaths. Click for more.

This aerial photo shows damage to Plaza Towers Elementary School after it was hit by a massive tornado in Moore, Oklahoma yesterday.
This aerial photo shows damage to Plaza Towers Elementary School after it was hit by a massive tornado in Moore, Oklahoma yesterday.   (AP Photo/Steve Gooch)
Rescue workers dig through the rubble of a collapsed wall at the Plaza Tower Elementary School.
Rescue workers dig through the rubble of a collapsed wall at the Plaza Tower Elementary School.   (AP Photo Sue Ogrocki)
Two men stand in front of the destroyed Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Oklahoma.
Two men stand in front of the destroyed Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Oklahoma.   (AP Photo/ The Oklahoman, Bryan Terry)
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