BREAKING: Oklahoma medical examiner’s office says five are killed in tornado outbreak in Oklahoma City suburbs. -MM
— The Associated Press (@AP) June 1, 2013
A mother and her baby are among five confirmed deaths after at least five tornadoes swept through the Oklahoma City area Friday night. Police say the woman’s SUV was picked up by by the storm as it passed through Interstate 40 near El Reno, just west of the city. Highway Patrol troopers found the mother and her baby dead at the scene next to the vehicle.
“We know that a mother and a child were killed tonight on I-40 in Canadian County,” Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Betsy Randolph told ABC News. “I cannot stress to you just how important it is that if people don’t have to be out, that they stay inside and seek shelter. There’s just no safe place to be except underground when a tornado is present.”
Two other victims were found in a car in Union City and another was found on a road in El Reno. Six semi-trucks were reported to have been toppled on their sides on I-40. Local hospitals reported receiving at between 40 and 50 people injured after the storm with five of those in critical condition.
The National Weather Service issued a warning on Friday, cautioning those near Oklahoma City to stay off the roads and to take shelter. Despite the warnings, massive traffic jams stretched out in all directions out of the city, leaving those stuck on the road the must vulnerable to the tornadoes.
Moore, Oklahoma was also on tornado watch, just over a week after a massive twister flattened everything in its path and killing 24 people.