MOORE, Okla. —
Oklahoma City-based AP photographer Sue Ogrocki was at the elementary school destroyed by a tornado and saw rescuers pulling children out of the rubble. This is her account of what she witnessed.
I left the office in Oklahoma City as soon as I saw the tornado warnings on TV. I had photographed about a dozen twisters in the past decade, and knew that if I didn't get in my car before the funnel cloud hit, it would be too late.
By the time I reached Moore, all I could see was destruction. I walked toward a group of people standing by a heaping mound of rubble too big to be a home. There were a lot of kids lined up on the sidewalk. A woman told me it had been a school.
I expected chaos as I approached the piles of bricks and twisted metal where Plaza Towers Elementary once stood. Instead, it was calm and orderly as police and firefighters pulled children out one by one from beneath a large chunk of a collapsed wall.
Parents and neighborhood volunteers stood in a line and passed the rescued children from one set of arms to another, carrying them out of harm's way. Adults carried the children through a field littered with shredded pieces of wood, cinder block and insulation to a triage center in a parking lot.
They worked quickly and quietly so rescuers could try to hear voices of children trapped beneath the rubble.
Crews lifted one boy from under the wall and were about to pass him along the human chain, but his dad was there. As the boy called out for him, they were reunited.
In the 30 minutes that I was outside the destroyed school, I photographed about a dozen children pulled from the rubble.
I focused my lens on each one of them. Some looked dazed. Some cried. Others seemed terrified.
But they were alive.
I know that some students were among those who died in the tornado, but for a moment, there was hope in the devastation.
MOORE, Okla. —
- Top Stories
Lifelong Struggles Facing TX Foster Kids Who Age Out
Hundreds of children have already gotten their Christmas wish this year: finding a forever home.
Obama says 1 million signed up for health care
His health care plan facing a dicey transition, President Barack Obama said Friday that insurance sign-ups are surging now that the government's website is working better for consumers.
Southern Great Plains Dairy Consortium offers education on large herd dairies
How can future dairy producers improve the dairy industry?
Texas inmate set to die for '91 abduction, slaying
An abusive childhood led Jamie McCoskey to a juvenile offense record that kept escalating as he reached adulthood.
Stocks edge higher on Wall Street; Dow at record
The Dow Jones industrial average held at a record high on Wall Street Monday.
Authorities: 2 charged in Texas party shootings
Two suspects have been charged in connection with a shooting at a house party in suburban Houston that left two teenagers dead and injured 19 others, authorities announced Monday.
Houston schools cancel activities due to weather
Houston's school district has cancelled afterschool activities as inches of rain fell on the city hours before Halloween trick-or-treating was set to begin.
Iraqi PM: Terror 'got a second chance' in Iraq
Terrorists "found a second chance" to thrive in Iraq, the nation's prime minister said Thursday in asking for new U.S. aid to beat back a bloody insurgency that has been fueled by the neighboring Syrian civil war and the departure of American troops from Iraq two years ago.
Alamo will not go under UN control
Despite spectacular and erroneous reports to the contrary, the Alamo is not being turned over to the United Nations — or anyone else for that matter.
New seats let airlines squeeze in more passengers
It's not your imagination. There really is a tighter squeeze on many planes these days.
- More Top Stories Headlines
- Lifelong Struggles Facing TX Foster Kids Who Age Out