Discovery's 'Storm Chasers' Stars Killed in Oklahoma Tornado

Damaged trees are seen in El Reno, Oklahoma on June 1, 2013
Damaged trees are seen in El Reno, Oklahoma on June 1, 2013
 Getty Images

Discovery's Storm Chasers stars Tim Samaras and Carl Young along with Samaras's son, Paul, were killed during an Oklahoma storm.

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of Tim Samaras, his son Paul and their colleague Carl Young. Our thoughts and prayers go out to their families," the network said in a statement. 

The trio were killed while chasing a tornado in the city of El Reno on Friday, relatives told CNN.

"Thank you to everyone for the condolences. It truly is sad that we lost my great brother, Tim, and his great son, Paul. Our hearts also go out to the Carl Young family as well, as they are feeling the same feelings we are today," wrote Tim's brother, Jim Samaras, on Facebook.

Tim Samaras had been chasing storms for decades. In an interview with National Geographic less than two weeks ago, he described his early fascination with tornadoes.

"I watched The Wizard of Oz when I was a kid and vowed to myself, 'I'm going to see that tornado one day.' Tornadoes have pretty much become a focus of my life," he said.

An Oklahoma tornado special airing on Discovery on Sunday will be dedicated to the storm chasers and will read: "In memory of Tim Samaras, Carl Young and Paul Samaras, who died Friday, May 31st doing what they love, chasing storms."

The National Geographic Society weighed in on the death of Samaras, who was a grantee of the society. 

"Tim was a courageous and brilliant scientist who fearlessly pursued tornadoes and lightning in the field in an effort to better understand these phenomena," said Terry Garcia, executive vp National Geographic Society, in a statement. "The National Geographic Society made 18 grants to Tim for research over the years for field work like he was doing in Oklahoma at the time of his death, and he was one of our 2005 Emerging Explorers."

Garcia added: "Though we sometimes take it for granted, Tim's death is a stark reminder of the risks encountered regularly by the men and women who work for us. This is an enormous loss for his family, his wide circle of friends and colleagues, and National Geographic."

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