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UPDATE: Child's body found Wednesday in Oklahoma River is 20th recovered from Friday's storms

A body was found Wednesday morning in the Oklahoma River, where officials were searching for three children missing after Friday night storms. Firefighters also searched the Deep Fork River for a 34-year-old woman.
BY JULIANA KEEPING jkeeping@opubco.com Modified: June 5, 2013 at 9:54 pm •  Published: June 5, 2013

A girl's body recovered Wednesday from the Oklahoma River brings the death toll to 20 from Friday's tornadoes and thunderstorms, according to the state medical examiner.

Her body was pulled from the water between S Western Avenue and S Walker Avenue — the same location where a man's body was recovered Tuesday, said Brian Stanaland, battalion chief with the Oklahoma City Fire Department.

Two children are still missing from the group of 11 people who were washed away after taking shelter in a storm drain Friday night near SW 15 and Interstate 44, Stanaland said. Seven members of the group escaped the rushing water or were rescued.

Elsewhere, a search continues for a 34-year-old woman swept away with a separate group of seven people. That group sheltered together Friday under a bridge near NW 26 and Meridian Avenue. The bodies of four children and two adults have been recovered from the Deep Fork River, Stanaland said.

Members of a volunteer search party said they had found three of the bodies after a daylong, exhaustive search along the swollen river.

Turbulent water on both rivers makes conditions dangerous for firefighters and volunteers conducting the searches, authorities said.

Stanaland called the Oklahoma River “incredibly unsafe.”

Fire crews from a heavy rescue unit working on the river Wednesday rigged a rope system to lower a firefighter into the river to retrieve the girl's body.

“We want to try to do our very best to bring those bodies back to their loved ones,” he said.


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