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2 Texas college students drown at popular tourist swimming hole, Oklahoma officials say

Two students attending University of Texas at Arlington died on Tuesday after one of the men attempted to save the other from drowning, according to multiple reports.

The students were visiting Turner Falls in Oklahoma when “one man was struggling in a pool near the falls when a friend jumped in to help and neither resurfaced,” according to CBS 11 and DFW 21.

The incident happened just after 10 a.m. and is the third drowning of the summer at Turner Falls, according to KFOR.

Because of numerous incidents at the attraction, the city has decided to close the swimming areas nearly a month ahead of schedule, citing a “lack of manpower to ensure public safety,” according to The Ada News.

“As of right now, both swimming areas at Turner Falls are closed and we have drained both pools,” Davis Police Chief Dan Cooper told The Ada News. “We’re so short-staffed, for the public’s safety the pools have been shut down for the season.”

The students, hailing from India, were attending school on student Visas and accompanied a group of people to Turner Falls to swim, according to The Ada News.

In July, two tourists also from India drowned at the park, per KFOR.

A third student from UT-Arlington also died in a drowning accident on Monday, according to the university.

UT-Arlington spokesman Joe Carpenter released the following statement to the McClatchy news group:

“The University of Texas at Arlington can confirm that three of its students died in apparent and separate drowning accidents in recent days. Two of the students — Teja Voleti and Ajay Koyalamudi — died Tuesday morning at Turner Falls Park in Oklahoma. Teja was 22 and Ajay was 24. Kedarnadh Chennareddy died Monday at Beavers Bend State Park in Oklahoma. He was 23. All three were graduate students in the College of Engineering.

“This is heartbreaking news, and UTA joins in the grief we all feel at losing members of our community. This is a University that cares deeply about one another, and in that spirit UTA officials have been in touch with the families of each student to offer condolences and support. We also are reaching out to their friends and colleagues here to offer our heartfelt support and care, both now and in the future.”

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Tyler Carter, a Real-Time reporter based out of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, is an avid lover of media, fitness, sports and telling impactful stories. Previously, he served as a trending/breaking news/crime reporter for AL.com and The Mississippi Press.
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