Manitoba

Storms kill boy, woman at Scout camp in Ontario

A teenage boy and a woman from Texas camping with a Boy Scouts adventure program were killed and two other campers were injured when severe storms swept through a remote area along the U.S.-Canada border, the leader of the program said Thursday.

13-year-old boy and 39-year-old woman dead, says Ontario Provincial Police

Wednesday's storm as seen from the floodway south of St. Mary's Road in Winnipeg. (Paul Mazurik)

A teenage boy and a woman from Texas camping with a Boy Scouts adventure program were killed and two other campers were injured when severe storms swept through a remote area along the U.S.-Canada border, the leader of the program said Thursday.

The boy and the female volunteer with the Northern Tier High Adventure Base Program died while camping, according to general manager John Van Dreese. Authorities said the group was camping on Basswood Lake in Quetico Provincial Park in Canada when strong winds blew through early Thursday.

The Boy Scouts previously had said the campers were on the U.S. side of the forest in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, but the Scouts later confirmed that the campers were in Canada. Quetico Provincial Park is adjacent to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.

Storms that moved through parts of Minnesota in the U.S. and Manitoba in Canada early Thursday knocked down trees and power lines. Strong winds knocked down trees that killed the two campers and injured the two others, the Boys Scouts of America said. The two young campers who were injured were taken to a hospital but their injuries are not considered life-threatening, the Boy Scouts said.

Ontario Provincial Police on Thursday identified the two who died as 13-year-old Christian James Sanchez of Lewisville, Texas, and 39-year-old Rorth Lac of Carrollton, Texas. A post-mortem examination is scheduled Friday. Canadian authorities are investigating but say the incident is not suspicious.

Nine people, including three adults and six boys, were part of the program and were camping near Basswood Lake near the Canadian border when the storms hit. Sheriff's officials and other emergency responders were working on evacuating the rest of the group from the wilderness area, Van Dreese said.

"This is a very difficult time for our Scouting family," the Scouts said in a statement Thursday. "The safety and well-being of our participants is our top priority. Immediately following the radio distress call, we contacted the local authorities for support, and began making contact with all crews on-site to offer assistance and assure the safety of all involved."

The Scouts said they will offer grief counselling to their members and volunteers.

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