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Clinging to the hope of finding more survivors, rescue workers scoured mountains of rubble Tuesday where houses and schools once stood.

But as they searched through the night and Tuesday morning, the sobering death toll continued to climb in this city far too familiar with nature’s wrath.

The vicious tornado that ripped across central Oklahoma on Monday killed at least 51 people — with about 40 more bodies expected to arrive at the Oklahoma state medical examiner’s office, Amy Elliott of the coroner’s office said. Roughly half of the expected bodies are children.

The official death toll will gradually rise from 51 as each of the bodies are processed, Elliott said.

Already, at least 20 of those killed were children, including seven from Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore — the site of a frantic search Tuesday morning.

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