BOWLING GREEN, Va. – The four men electrocuted while pitching a dining tent at the Boy Scout Jamboree (search) had ignored scouting teachings by putting the tent under a power line, a spokesman said Wednesday.
The Scout leaders also had taken the "somewhat unusual" step of hiring a contractor to help with the task, Scouts spokesman Gregg Shields (search) said.
"Boy Scouts are taught not to put their tents under trees or under power lines. I don't know what happened in that case," Shields said.
The four leaders killed Monday were to be remembered Wednesday at a memorial to be attended by President Bush. The Jamboree has drawn more than 40,000 Scouting enthusiasts from around the world to Fort A.P. Hill (search), about an hour south of the nation's capital.
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, but otherwise it appeared to be business as usual as sweaty Scouts walked under the blazing sun to various activities.
"When I heard it, I felt, 'Wow this stuff really does happen,"' said Alex Howland, 12, of Morris, N.Y.
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 use tent poles in excess of 6 feet.
"Sometimes you're too close to things and you can't see them and all of a sudden you realize that you're actually (in) danger," Mohr said.
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.