Oklahoma Death Toll Revised; 24 Confirmed Killed By Tornado

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The Oklahoma tornado death toll has been revised downward as state officials continue to evaluate the massive casualties in the wake of Monday's event.

Tornado Responders

The medical examiner's office has lowered the confirmed death toll from 51 to 24, including nine children, though that total may still rise in coming days.

Oklahoma medical examiner spokeswoman Amy Elliot said she believes some victims were counted twice in the early chaos of the storm aftermath.

The original death toll included 20 children, and some news outlets have reported as many as 91 people were killed by the Moore, Okla., twister.

Two elementary schools were in the path of Monday's tornado, which the National Weather Service gave a preliminary rating of at least EF-4.

That categorization entails churning wind speeds of up to 200 mph.

Moore Mayor Glenn Lewis and National Guard members told ABC News that search-and-rescue operations at the schools are now recovery efforts.

"The walls were just pancaked, absolutely flattened and the students were just grouped together," Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb tragically told reporters.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin tweeted late Monday that she visited with search crews. "Appreciate their hard work and tireless dedication," she tweeted.

Fallin has also deployed 80 National Guard members to help with search-and-rescue efforts throughout the city, just outside of Oklahoma City.

Authorities said Briarwood Elementary School in Moore received a "direct hit" from the storm and was also destroyed, with its roof and walls blown off.

"A lot of parents started walking, running to Briarwood, and when we got up to Briarwood, it had been just completely destroyed," a Moore resident said.

"I'm just happy that I was able to find my son and my family is OK. The scene over there at the school is just catastrophic. I've never seen anything like it."

A total of 242 patients, including 58 children, were treated at hospitals. Many patients have been treated and discharged while others have been transferred.

Kelly Wells, spokeswoman for the Norman (Okla.) Regional Health System, said lacerations, broken bones, head and neck injuries were common.

Moore Medical Center, the only hospital in Moore, sustained major damage from the tornado and was evacuating all its patients to other hospitals.

Betsy Randolph of the State Highway Patrol asked non search-and-rescue personnel to stay off the roads so first responders can do their job.

"We do still have rescue, search-and-rescue crews throughout this city. Some of the heavily hit areas, they are still searching for people," she said.

"We still have people that are trapped."

President Obama signed a disaster declaration in Oklahoma and ordered federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the affected area.

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