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Monday 23 October 2017

Boys electrocuted as storms bring down power lines

Stormchasers and spectator vehicles clog the road (AP)
Stormchasers and spectator vehicles clog the road (AP)

Two boys have been electrocuted by power lines downed during violent weather in Texas, officials said.

Fire officials in Fort Worth said the boys, aged 11 and 12, were killed in a heavily wooded area near Oakland Lake Park.

Severe thunderstorms, some including tornadoes, hit north Texas and Oklahoma on Tuesday.

Oncor, the local electric utility in Fort Worth, reported damage to its system after the storms went through, including in the Oakland Lake Park area.

In Oklahoma, a truck driver was killed on Tuesday night after strong winds pushed his rig off the interstate in El Reno, outside Oklahoma City, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

Forecasters confirmed a 95mph wind gust in the area when the crash occurred.

Three storm chasers also died on Tuesday in a collision as they raced toward a storm in west Texas, authorities said.

Two were contractors for The Weather Channel. They were killed in a collision at a remote intersection near the town of Spur, about 55 miles south-east of Lubbock.

The channel said in a statement that Kelley Williamson and Randy Yarnall were "beloved members of the weather community" who had worked as contractors for the channel.

The Texas Department of Public Safety said the two died with 25-year-old Corbin Lee Jaeger of Peoria, Arizona.

Mr Williamson and Mr Yarnall were both from Cassville, Missouri.

Department of Public Safety Sergeant John Gonzalez said a car driven by Mr Williamson went through a stop sign and hit another vehicle driven by Mr Jaeger. Mr Yarnall was a passenger in the first car. All three were killed instantly.

Tornadoes had been reported nearby at the time of the crash and heavy rain had been reported.

The severe weather threat shifted east on Wednesday, covering an area from near Kansas City, Missouri, to the Gulf Coast.

Stronger storms are expected on Thursday in parts of Mississippi and Tennessee.

AP

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