Three storm chasers killed in horror crash after tornado ripped through Andover, Kansas, destroying hundreds of homes

THREE storm chasers are dead from a horror crash while they were storm chasing after a tornado ripped through Andover, Kansas, destroying hundreds of homes.

The three victims were meteorology students at the University of Oklahoma, according to reports.



Nicholas Nair, 20, Gavin Short, 19, and Drake Brooks, 22, were killed after their vehicle hydroplaned and lost control.

Their vehicle veered off the road and was struck by a semi-truck, according to the Oklahoman.

It took nearly five and a half hours for Tonkawa Fire Department officials and paramedics to remove the victims from the wreckage. All three were pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the other vehicle was treated and released from a hospital, according to reports.

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The three victims were reportedly on their way back from storm chasing in Kansas after a tornado ripped through, damaging hundreds of homes and buildings.

The University of Oklahoma's College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences released a statement acknowledging the accident and lives lost.

"Our community in Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences is close-knit, and our School of Meteorology is very much a family. Now, more than ever, we must come together in kindness and heartfelt support for one another. Please join us in offering thoughts and prayers for those most impacted, and providing them with privacy," the statement said. 

The National Weather Service Norman, Oklahoma tweeted that their evening balloon release was in honor of the three victims of the crash.

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"On this very sad day in the Norman weather community, our evening weather balloon launch is dedicated to Nic, Drake and Gavin – OU meteorology students who died in a tragic traffic accident last night."

Officials continue to sift through debris left in the tornado's wake.

Around 1,000 buildings had been affected by the tornado, which swept through Andover, Kansas on Friday.

Officials said on Saturday that more than 6,500 people were without power as a result of the tornado.

A handful of injuries had been reported from the tornado, though no fatalities had been confirmed, officials said.

In a news conference Saturday morning, Andover Fire Chief Chad Russell said some homes "were completely blown away."

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Russell said homes were knocked off of their foundations completely, and some neighborhoods were entirely wiped out.

A State of Disaster Emergency has been declared for hard-hit areas by Governor Laura Kelly.

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