CHICAGO: Three veteran storm chasers were killed while pursuing powerful tornadoes that tore through the US state of Oklahoma, a relative said on Sunday.
Tim Samaras, his son Paul and their storm-chasing partner Carl Young died Friday in a twister in El Reno, west of Oklahoma City.
They were the first storm researchers ever killed while chasing tornadoes, media reports said, citing the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma.
“They all unfortunately passed away but doing what they Loved,” the elder Samaras’s brother Jim Samaras said on his Facebook page.
Tony Laubach, a fellow participant in the Tactical Weather Instrumented Sampling in Tornadoes Experiment, or Twistex, that Samaras founded, mourned the “devastating loss to the meteorological, research and storm-chasing communities.”
Samaras’s instruments are said to have offered the first-ever glimpse inside a tornado, and Twistex aimed to learn more about the storms in order to help increase the lead time in warnings.
A series of tornadoes battered Oklahoma with high winds, heavy rain and large hail, causing at least 11 fatalities in a state already reeling from a monster twister that claimed two-dozen lives last month.