Tragedy in Iowa

Four teenagers were killed and dozens more were injured when a tornado struck the Little Sioux Scout Ranch in western Iowa last night:

(CNN) — Boy Scouts dived under picnic tables and were buried under a collapsed chimney when a tornado hit their camp in western Iowa, survivors said Thursday morning.

The tornado at the Little Sioux Scout Ranch killed three 13-year-old Scouts and a 14-year-old staff member who also was a Scout, said Lloyd Roitstein, president of the Boy Scouts of Mid-America Council. Forty-eight Scouts and staff members were injured.

Possible tornadoes also struck northeastern Kansas, killing at least two people, injuring many others and damaging buildings at Kansas State University.

Rob Logsdon, a 15-year-old staff member at the camp, said although he was injured, he rescued some of his fellow Boy Scouts trapped underneath the collapsed chimney.


Thomas White, an 18-year-old staff member, said he lay in a ditch with several of the younger scouts as the tornado roared through.

“The grace of God helped us for sure,” he said.

Logsdon said one of his friends was among the four killed.

“I went back to Little Sioux after I got out of the hospital, and his dad had just found out he died,” he said. “He was my staff partner and he was a good kid, and it’s a big loss. He was a great kid.”

Iowa Public Safety Commissioner Gene Meyer said 93 campers and 25 staff were at the camp when the storm struck about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. All have been accounted for, he said, but the 1,800-acre park was still being searched Thursday morning.

Roitstein, the Boy Scouts official, said the Scouts at the ranch were advanced Scouts between 13 and 18 years old and were there for a week of training. He said all of them were staying in tents and that the site is destroyed.

This is so, so sad. Mothers and fathers sent their sons to Boy Scout camp, never thinking it would be the last time they’d see them alive. Please keep the family members in your thoughts and prayers.

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