TODAY   |  May 21, 2013

Tornado survivor: My teacher ‘saved our lives’

Brandi Kline and her two sons, both students at Plaza Towers Elementary in Moore, Okla., which was directly hit by the tornado Monday afternoon, recount their experiences, as Damian Britton says his teacher threw her body over him and his classmates to shield them from the storm.

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

>> you know, there have been some amazing stories of survival that are starting to emerge from the rubble and i have one of those, brandi klein, damien klein and bobby britain. damien you're a fourth grader at plaza tower elementary school . do you remember anything from yesterday?

>> we were in glass and all we heard was the sirens go off and we all ran to the hallway. some of us had a math book, some of us had backpacks and they went off again, then we ducked again and then it went off and then we went in the bathroom, and then they went off again and then we heard the tornado and it sounded like a train coming by, and then we all, we were all covered and a teacher took cover of us, miss crossway.

>> miss crossway threw her body right over you, didn't she?

>> yes.

>> reporter: watts she covering you and some other students?

>> she was covering me and my friend, zachary, and then she, i told her that we were fine because we were holding onto something and she went over to my friend antonio and covered him, and then so she saved our lives.

>> reporter: she did save your lives. how long do you remember being under the teacher? how long did it feel like for the tornado to pass over you?

>> about five minutes.

>> reporter: and when you stood up and looked around what did you see?

>> all i saw was it was just a disaster, and there was a bunch of stuff just thrown around and the cars were tipped over and it smelled like gas.

>> reporter: did you know any of your fellow students, were they okay, too?

>> most of them were.

>> reporter: brandi this is so horrifying. i can't imagine how a mother feels in a moment like this. how did you hear what was happening? i imagine you raced over to the school for the boys.

>> yeah, it was all over the news. i was at work. they sent us to the basement, and we were watching from somebody's phone, as soon as we were clear i headed home and i knew they had been hit, so about 45 minutes later they finally got a hold of me from their cell phones but it was panic until then.

>> reporter: did you race to the school?

>> yeah, i got as close as i could and then we just had to walk and then we walked to our house, which was nearby and most of it's gone, so. everyone around us lost everything but we have our kids.

>> reporter: bobby, where were you in the tornado in.

>> in the girl's bathroom.

>> reporter: what did you see and what did you hear?

>> actually it went past i could see the debris flying over and it sounded like a train.

>> reporter: you must have been terrified. can you describe how you felt in those moments?

>> scared.

>> reporter: and you just mentioned, brandi , you came home and the home is basically gone. can you tell me about what you saw, what's up, what's left of your house, of your neighborhood?

>> i still have about half of my house, so we're lucky there are some things salvageable but all of our neighbors lost everything, so like i said, all that stuff is fine, as long as i have my kids. that's all that matters.

>> reporter: thank you so much for being here. thank you for telling us your story and you were right you have the most treasured ones right here and we're so glad