Skip to comments.Four Boy Scout Leaders Die in Va. Accident
Posted on 07/25/2005 9:17:03 PM PDT by nuconvert
Four Boy Scout Leaders Die in Va. Accident
By MICHAEL FELBERBAUM,
Associated Press Writer
Four adult Boy Scout leaders from Alaska were killed Monday afternoon in an electrical accident during the opening day of the organization's 2005 Jamboree.
The accident happened between 4:30 and 5 p.m. while the leaders were setting up camp, officials said.
More than six hours after the deaths, little additional information had been released. The Jamboree is being held on the grounds of the Army's Fort A.P. Hill; Army officials referred questions to Jamboree officials, who declined to detail how the accident occurred.
One other leader from Alaska and a contract worker were hospitalized in stable condition following the electrical accident. All the youths with the Alaska group were fine, said Bill Haines, chief executive officer of the Western Alaska Council.
Those killed were longtime leaders with Anchorage's Troop 711, which along with another troop had brought 80 Scouts between the ages 13-15 to the event, Haines said. Three other Scout leaders had come with the group.
The Scouts were relocated to another area, and chaplains and grief counselors were made available. "The Jamboree will go on," said Jamboree spokeswoman Renee Fairrer.
The deaths came a day after a Boy Scouts volunteer from North Carolina was taken to a hospital where he died of an apparent heart attack, Fairrer said.
In 1997, a 16-year-old Boy Scout from Pennsylvania was killed at the Jamboree when an Army Humvee he was not supposed to be driving flipped over. Three passengers were hurt.
Virginia Gov. Mark R. Warner issued a statement Monday night seeking to reassure parents of those attending this year's event.
"A remarkable amount of effort and resources have been brought to bear by the Boy Scouts and their hosts, the Department of Defense, in the planning and safety considerations involved in creating, in effect, a city of 43,000 inhabitants for a 10-day period," Warner said.
Tens of thousands of Boy Scouts, leaders and volunteers from around the world are attending the 2005 National Scout Jamboree. The event opened Monday at Fort A.P. Hill, a 76,000-acre Army training base about an hour south of the nation's capital.
The Jamboree runs through Aug. 3 with President Bush scheduled to speak Wednesday evening. Scouts ages 12-18 are to spend 10 days camping in tents and doing activities that include archery, fishing and a GPS-based scavenger hunt.
The Boy Scouts of America have held the event since 1937 with the next gathering set for 2010, the Scouts' 100th anniversary. It may not be held at Fort A.P. Hill, which has hosted the event since 1981.
A federal judge recently ruled that the Pentagon can no longer financially support the event. If the ruling stands, the Boy Scouts would have to find another location for their next gathering.
A lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois contends that the Defense Department's sponsorship violates the First Amendment because the Scouts require members to swear an oath of duty to God.
...condolences to the families from a former scout leader in Norfolk, VA...
Story already here http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1450410/posts
What the heck does a Boy Scout campout need electricity for? Campfires, lanterns, latrines and tents should suffice!
***........."It's a very tragic loss for all of us," Haines said.
The deaths came a day after a Boy Scouts volunteer from North Carolina was taken to a hospital where he died of an apparent heart attack.
Scout officials gave no details of how the accident occurred, other than to say that it happened while the camp was being set up. One person with knowledge of the jamboree operations, who spoke on condition of anonymity because an investigation is under way, confirmed that a pole intended as a support for a tent touched an overhead power line.
A slender pole protruded through the apex of a pyramidal tent at the accident site and appeared to be touching the power line. The tent was one of two that appeared to be intended for large gatherings.
Bob Dries, volunteer chairman of the national news and media operation for the jamboree, said: "I would expect the jamboree is going to carry on. Certainly, our sympathy is with the families. It's a sad day. The jamboree is about kids and having fun."
The accident was being investigated by the Boy Scouts and the U.S. Army, which operates the base about 80 miles south of Washington, D.C.
Gregg Shields, a spokesman for the Boy Scouts, said chaplains and grief counselors were meeting with the scouts from Western Alaska. Those scouts are "our primary concern right now," Shields said.
Houston Chronicle reporter Kevin Moran contributed to this report from Virginia. http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/nation/3281938
Picture of the tent and overhead wires via the "Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star"
Photo by Rebecca Sell, The Free Lance-Star
"a pole intended as a support for a tent touched an overhead power line. A slender pole protruded through the apex of a pyramidal tent at the accident site and appeared to be touching the power line. The tent was one of two that appeared to be intended for large gatherings."
Thanks for the pic lead and additional info CW.
(see link in #8 for pic of tent)
It's really awful.
This is not your typical Boy Scout "campout."
For 10 days, Fort A.P. Hill becomes a small city with somewhere near 40,000 scouts and leaders.