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More than 300 Boy Scouts fall ill from heat at Jamboree

Thursday, July 28, 2005

BOWLING GREEN, Va. -- More than 300 Boy Scouts were sickened by the heat Wednesday while waiting for President Bush to arrive at a memorial service for four Scout leaders who were killed while pitching a tent beneath a power line.

The president's visit to the Scout Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill was postponed because of the threat of severe thunderstorms and strong winds. Instead, Bush is scheduled to visit the gathering today.

But before the president's appearance was called off, many Scouts fell ill from temperatures that rose into the upper 90s, made worse by high humidity.

Half of those were treated and released from the base hospital, about three miles from the event arena. Dozens more were sent to other hospitals, where they were in stable condition Wednesday night, said Gregg Shields, a Jamboree spokesman.

Soldiers carried Boy Scouts on stretchers to the base hospital, and others were airlifted from the event.

Jamboree officials called for emergency assistance from surrounding areas, and ambulances transported Scouts during a storm that brought high winds and lightning.


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