Nightly News   |  May 20, 2013

Praying for the best in Oklahoma

A sixth grade teacher was described as “nothing short of a hero” for helping save students and bringing them to safety at a nearby church. The school was destroyed down to its foundation. Now rescuers are bringing in heavy equipment to remove debris and get to what is underneath. KFOR reporter Lance West reports from the scene for NBC’s affiliate in Oklahoma City.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> we want to bring you the report that aired on kfor , our nbc station in oklahoma city . this aired live on television and gave rise to much worry that the students and faculty were trapped inside a collapsed classroom in this one elementary school . this is reporter lance west who was reporting live from the scene.

>> reporter: every possible emergency personnel is here doing their best to pull the victims out alive. i did speak to a teacher. her name was rhonda. a 6th grade teacher here. she is nothing short of a hero. she had six kids with her in the bathroom. she laid on top of them as the storm passed through. they are all alive, all accounted for. i understand the 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students were all accounted for and have been moved to a church that is in the area. they are safe there. right now still unaccounted for was kindergarten, 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders. no word on those kids now. but parents are just now beginning to arrive trying to weave through the mayhem. as you can expect they want to help. they are yelling at rescuers, why aren't they doing more, but these folks are doing whatever they can to save who may be trapped in the debris. they are bringing in heavy equipment. i see a tractor 50 yards from me they are trying to get in to hopefully remove heavier debris and get to what's underneath. for those just joining us we know the 3rd grade class was in a hallway in a classroom taking refuge from the storm and that part of the building is completely gone. there are no walls standing of this school. it is wiped to the foundation. there is nothing more than a big pile of debris. like i said before, we can only hope and pray for the best that they can find these kids, these teachers alive.

>> this is, of course, a colossal tragedy and a colossal story for friends at kfor in oklahoma city . we have learned from lance's reporting that police set up yellow tape to keep parents away from the perimeter just so they can possibly hear voices from inside the wreckage as they go about lifting the wreckage off what's left of the school. lance west with kfor