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FLOOD SWEEPS SCOUTS TO THEIR DEATHS

A raging, rain-swollen wash swept away a sports utility vehicle just as rescuers were trying to save members of a Boy Scout troop clinging to the roof. Two Scouts and a troop leader drowned.

The tragedy happened late Saturday after the group of four adults and nine boys in Troop 286 aborted their camping trip as El Nino-driven rains battered the low mountains of central Arizona.

When they started to cross the 12- to 20-foot-wide wash that stood between them and the safety of Route 87 about 30 miles east of Phoenix, the water was nearly 6 feet deep.

A minivan carrying seven members of the group made it across, but the utility vehicle got stuck. The two adults and four Scouts managed to crawl out and cling to the roof.

An adult and two Scouts were pulled to safety, but as rescuers tried to save the remaining three, the floodwaters pushed the truck downstream. It rolled a couple of times, throwing them into the water.

Sunday, rescuers found the victims' bodies about a half-mile to a mile downstream.

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