Fluctuating Oklahoma Death Toll Confirmed

The death toll from Monday’s tragic twister in Oklahoma has been downsized this morning from 51 to closer to 24, according to reports from multiple local and national news organizations.

Previous reports of the death toll differed between 51 and 91, while some news organizations were reporting more than 100 casualties, causing confusion over the actual figure.

The latest reports from the Oklahoma medical examiner’s office Monday showed 51 deaths caused by the twister, up from the 37 fatalities reported earlier. The office’s spokeswoman Amy Elliott also said Monday in a statement sent to various news outlets that there were 40 more possible deaths that had not been confirmed, 20 of which were expected to be children.

This morning’s revised medical examiner’s report, which was first reported by Reuters shortly after 9 a.m. ET, said there were 24 confirmed casualties, seven of which were children. The report also said all but three of the bodies have been positively identified and were being returned to their families.

Another report from the medical examiner’s office just after 11 this morning confirmed the 24 fatalities, but said that included nine children instead of seven, as reported this morning.

Elliot said original reports of the death toll were high due to chaos after the storm and downed phone lines, which led to double-reporting of some of the casualties.

Photo credit: CBS News