Hundreds Sickened At Jamboree

Some Scouts witnessed the deaths of the leaders as the large pole at the center of a large, white dining tent came into contact with power lines. Screams rang out as the tent caught fire and the men burned.

An investigation into the accident is incomplete.

While power lines crisscross the Jamboree's 7,000 acres, the leaders of Western Alaskan Troops 711 and 713 had ample room to erect a tent out of range of overhanging limbs and power lines.

The Jamboree is divided into subcamps, each of which is responsible for putting up a mess tent for what could be the hundreds of Scouts in their division. Shields said he did not know if Scouting has a specific policy regarding the proximity of tents to power lines, and he could not identify the contractor hired by the Alaska troop.

Flags flew at half-staff near the shooting range Wednesday. Cameron Ogilvie, 15, of York, Pa., said he heard of the deaths from his bus driver as he was riding back to his campsite.

"It shocked all of the boys on the bus hard. We all just got quiet," he said.

Scoutmaster Brad Mohr, 51, of Pasadena, Calif, said an announcement after the accident informed leaders not to erect structures taller than 6 feet.

Those killed were Michael J. Shibe, 49, Mike Lacroix, 42, and Ronald H. Bitzer, 58, all of Anchorage, Alaska; and Scott Edward Powell, 57, who had recently moved from Anchorage to Perrysville, Ohio. Shibe had two sons at the Jamboree and Lacroix had one.

Three adults were injured, and one returned to the Jamboree after being released from the hospital.

By Michael Felberbaum