(CBS Houston/AP) – Barbara Garcia, a woman who thought she had lost it all found one of the things most precious to her while being interviewed on live television – her pet dog, buried alive under the rubble of her former home.
Tornado survivor Barbara Garcia was relating her harrowing tale of survival to CBS News, recalling in a deliberate voice the details of feeling her house coming down around her as the storm wreaked havoc on the area.
“I was sitting on the stool, holding my dog … this was the game plan all through the years … to go in that little bathroom,” she said, recalling to CBS News reporter Anna Werner her experience. “… I felt the stool come up out of the floor and I rolled around a little bit.”
As she surveyed the piles of broken wood and appliances around her, Garcia said that after it was over, she called for her dog, but got no reply.
She added, “I know he’s in there somewhere.”
Mere moments later, a voice off camera anxiously called out, “The dog! The dog!” And just feet behind Garcia’s legs was the dog, alive and stuck under the destruction.
Overcome with emotion, she quickly made her way to her beloved pet and, with the help of surrounding people, unearthed him from the debris.
“Well, I thought God just answered one prayer – to let me be okay,” she said, her voice choked with tears as she pet the small black dog. “But he answered both of them, because this was my second prayer.”
Emergency crews searched the broken remnants of the Oklahoma City suburb Tuesday for other survivors of the massive tornado that flattened homes and demolished an elementary school on Monday. At least 24 people were killed, including at least nine children, and those numbers were expected to climb.
CBS News reports 236 people were injured, including about 50 children.