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3 veteran storm chasers killed by Oklahoma tornado

June 2, 2013 • Entertainment


FILE – This May 26, 2006, file photo, shows the license plate on the truck of tornado chaser Tim Samaras, in Ames, Iowa. Jim Samaras said Sunday, June 2, 2013, that his brother Tim Samaras was killed along with Tim’s son, Paul Samaras, and another chaser, Carl Young, on Friday, May 31, 2013 in Oklahoma City. The National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., said the men were involved in tornado research. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

Three veteran storm chasers died doing what they loved: roaming the Great Plains in search of dangerous storms like the one in Oklahoma that ended their final pursuit.

Tim Samaras, his son Paul and colleague Carl Young, who through the years had shared dramatic videos with television viewers and weather researchers, died Friday night when an EF3 tornado with winds up to 165 mph turned on them near El Reno, Okla. They were among 13 people who died in the storm in Oklahoma City and its suburbs.

Their deaths in pursuit of the storm are believed to be the first among scientific researchers while chasing tornadoes, the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., said.

“They put themselves in harm’s way so that they can educate the public about the destructive power of these storms,” said Chris West, the undersheriff in Canadian County, where the men died.

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