Oklahoma tornado survivor Lando Hite: ‘There were horses and stuff flying around everywhere’


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  • Lando Hite hid in stall which collapsed on him as it was battered by winds
  • Credits his innate knowledge of Oklahoma tornadoes with saving his life
  • Instinctively knew to shelter when storm winds outside dropped
  • Said the two-mile wide tornado was ‘just like movie Twister’

By
Becky Evans

05:05 EST, 21 May 2013


|

06:38 EST, 21 May 2013

A man survived the Moore tornado yesterday by sheltering in a horse stall as the stable he was in was carried more than 100ft in the storm.

Lando Hite credits his native knowledge of Oklahoma tornadoes with saving his life.

He said he instinctively knew the weather had become dangerous when he noticed the storm winds drop and every ‘go quiet’.

Scroll down for video

Lando Hite standing in front of the devastated farm where he lived

Lando Hite standing in front of the devastated farm where he lived and worked survived the tornado by sheltering in a horse stall which collapsed on top of him

The horse exercise rider and caretaker looked outside, giving him vital seconds to take cover.

He told new station KFOR: ‘It was unbearably loud. There were horses and stuff flying around everywhere. Just like the movie Twister.’

He said he immediately tried to free some of the horses on the ranch where he lives before hiding in the stall.

Shirtless and covered in mud, Mr Hite said the stalls collapsed on top of him as they were pummeled by the wind and a pick-up truck was pushed on top of the stable.

He said: ‘I had no idea it was coming. I just figured a storm is coming
then it went quiet. When it did that, being from Oklahoma I came outside
to see all this debris flying this way.’

At least 91 people, including about 20 children, have been killed in the devastating two-mile wide tornado.

Hite said all but one of their 80 horses died in the tornado. Elsewhere, injured horses huddle together near Drexel

Hite said all but one of their 80 horses died in the tornado. Elsewhere, injured horses huddle together near Drexel

Rescuers pull a horse free from the remains of day care center and destroyed barns in Moore

Rescuers pull a horse free from the remains of day care center and destroyed barns in Moore

The 200mph tornado smashed its way across the community of 41,000 for 45 minutes.

Search efforts are ongoing under flood lights as rescuers look under collapsed buildings in the town.

Mr Hite cared for 80 horses on the Orr Family Farm, a local tourist attraction, but believes that just one of the animals survived.

He said five sturdy barns, including one where he lived, were completely destroyed.

While the farm owners were able to shelter in the basement, Mr Hite said he did not have enough time to make it to the house.

The caretaker told KFOR that he had lost everything in the tornado. 

Areas of the town, including the Plaza Towers Elementary School (pictured) were leveled by the tornado

Areas of the town, including the Plaza Towers Elementary School (pictured) were leveled by the tornado

At least 90 people, including 20 children, are feared to have been killed by the enormous tornado

At least 90 people, including 20 children, are feared to have been killed by the enormous tornado

Farm owners Glenn Orr and his son Tom said that all the staff were safe.

They said on their Facebook page: ‘We are physically alright, but we have sustained a large amount of damage at the farm and adjacent properties.

‘We are still assessing damage to both properties and animals.’

In a second post, the family thanks well-wishers and said they had been inundated with officers of help to care for the animals. 

The comments below have not been moderated.

hahahaha flying horses

DanWard94
,

Cardiff,
21/5/2013 12:46

POOR ANIMALS.

Southern Accents
,

Down South, United States Minor Outlying Islands,
21/5/2013 12:45

Bloody hell!

iNXS
,

The land downunder, Australia,
21/5/2013 12:41

All but one of their 80 horses died?!? How sad!

NavyVet
,

Fayetteville NC,
21/5/2013 12:37

Tragic..!! Really sad incident

p0stuser
,

Soul City, British Virgin Islands,
21/5/2013 12:35

THIS IS ABSOLUTELY HORRENDOUS. And I’ve spent the morning gutted about these people who have lost absolutely everything. But,God Forgive me,the Header about “Horses flying everywhere”, made me laugh.I don’t know why.I know I’m going to to to Hell for it,and be Red Arrowed to death.But really, DM,you could’ve put it better!

ESS1
,

London, United Kingdom,
21/5/2013 12:33

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