At least 26 people were killed and some 250 injured in a series of tornados that struck several towns in Oklahoma, U.
2 scenes...men search rubble
CU Amateur radio operator
2 scenes...National guard directs rescue trucks
9 scenes...interior of hospital
6 scenes...injured persons in nearby town
AIR VIEW..over Wilburton
11 scenes....President looks at ruins
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Background: At least 26 people were killed and some 250 injured in a series of tornados that struck several towns in Oklahoma, U.S.A., May 5/6. Hardest hit was the college town of Wilburton - nearby destroyed - with 12 dead and 24 injured of its population of 3,000. Rescue workers searching the rubble for possible victims were hampered by torrential rains.
Superintendent of schools at Wilburton, Delbert Garner, said: "It looks as if a bomb had been dropped on the main street". He stated that the siren to warn people of tornados could not be sounded because rain and wind had disrupted power about 30 minutes before the tornado hit the town. "I think a lot more people could have been saved if that had not happened".
Communications were completely knocked out in Wilburton, and Civil Defence units were moved into the area as amateur radio operators sent out calls for nurses, doctors and rescue workers. The Calvary Baptist church was completely destroyed as 50 people sat down as the church was competely destroyed. The Rev. R. Phillips described it as the "most terrifying moment of my life".
The first of the tornados hit about a dozen communities in Oklahoma and arkansas. One person was killed and 25 injured at Monefee; six sere killed and fifty injured in the Roland-Moffet-Muldrow area near Forth Smith, Arkansas, and eight died in the four small towns of Sapulpa, Keota, Bristow and Checotah.