Bank vault shelters 22 survivors of Moore, OK, tornado - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Bank vault shelters 22 survivors of Oklahoma tornado

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The Tinker Federal Credit Union vault sheltered 22 people during the Moore, OK, tornado that destroyed the building. (Source: Tinker Federal Credit Union) The Tinker Federal Credit Union vault sheltered 22 people during the Moore, OK, tornado that destroyed the building. (Source: Tinker Federal Credit Union)
Before-and-after photos of the Tinker Federal Credit Union building where 22 people survived a devastating tornado in the facility's vault. (Source: Tinker Federal Credit Union) Before-and-after photos of the Tinker Federal Credit Union building where 22 people survived a devastating tornado in the facility's vault. (Source: Tinker Federal Credit Union)

MOORE, OK - The Tinker Federal Credit Union branch in Moore, OK, was demolished by the EF-5 tornado that decimated the city, but 22 people who took shelter in the facility's vault survived the storm and emerged safely.

The 14 employees and eight customers rode out the storm in the vault, which was the only part of the roughly 6,400-square-foot building that remained intact. First responders quickly arrived at the scene and removed debris that blocked the door, freeing the survivors who had spent a loud, terrifying several minutes inside the concrete-and-steel structure.

The employees and customers eventually found their way home, though their cars were smashed in the adjacent parking lot, a TFCU official told Credit Union Times.

The branch manager stayed on-site until the vault could be locked and secured - all the safety deposit boxes survived intact and the vault is under round-the-clock guard said Matt Stratton, the company's vice president of marketing.

TFCU wants to rebuild on the same site, he said.

All the employees of the branch are safe, according to the company's Facebook page, but 26 of their homes were damaged and four were completely destroyed. The storm did at least $1 billion worth of damage and 24 people have been confirmed killed.

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