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The Oklahoma City medical examiner’s office says the death toll from a massive tornado that churned through Oklahoma City Monday and destroyed homes, businesses and an elementary school with a direct blow, has been downgraded from 51 to at least 24.

“To date, 24 deceased victims of the tornado have been transported to our Oklahoma City office, and positive identifications have been made in the vast majority of those, and these are ready for return to their loved ones,” spokeswoman Amy Elliott told FoxNews.com in an email.

Nine of the bodies are children.

Elliott said during early recovery efforts, 51 deaths were reported to the medical examiner’s office, but some of them may have been double-counted.

She cautioned Tuesday, however, that officials could see as many as 40 additional fatalities. Authorities said initially that 20 children were among the dead.

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