A 9-year-old boy has died after being hit by a float in Portsmouth's annual holiday parade.

The boy was hit Saturday evening, shortly after the parade started. The float, a trailer being pulled by a pickup truck, was carrying about 20 Cub Scouts ranging in age from 8 to 11, police said.

Authorities did not say if the boy who was struck was one of the scouts on the float. The boy's name was not released.

It was not clear how the boy was struck. Investigators are trying to sort out many different accounts provided by witnesses, said Lt. Rod McQuate. Authorities are also asking anyone with photographs or videotape of the accident to come forward.

"It goes without saying this is a terrible tragedy," Chief Michael Magnant said.