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Boy Scout killed in flash flood at Philmont Ranch

SANTA FE, N.M. — For the record: This story has been updated to include the correct amount of land the Philmont Scout Ranch owns. The ranch sits on 214 square miles of land. It has also been updated to clarify the crew leaders were adults. 

One Boy Scout died and three others were rescued after being swept away in a flash flood early Saturday, according to the New Mexico State Police.

A group of eight Scouts, ages 14 to 17, three adult crew leaders and one adult ranger were on the two-week trek across the Philmont Scout Ranch, a popular Boy Scout ranch near Cimarron.

UPDATE: Flood waters reached 20 feet (Sunday, June 28, 2015)

They were camped near the North Ponil Canyon, 15 miles northeast of the training center.

Rain started falling early Saturday morning, flooding parts of the ranch property, according to a news release posted on the ranch’s website.

Around 4:30 a.m. Saturday, a flash flood rushed down the canyon, said State Police spokesman Chad Pierce.

“As the floodwater swept through the canyon, it overran the Scouts’ campsite, resulting in four Boy Scouts being swept away,” Pierce said.

Staff members found three of the Scouts who had been swept away down the canyon, but couldn’t find the fourth.

State Police search-and-rescue crews went to the ranch around 9:30 a.m. to help look for the boy.

They found his body around 11 a.m., about three-quarters of a mile to a mile away from the camp.

“We have notified the family and are supporting them in any way we can,” the statement reads. “We are also working to support those affected by this tragic incident.”

State Police haven’t released the identities of the deceased boy or anyone else involved and didn’t release any other information about the incident.

“Names of those involved are being withheld at this time pending notification,” Pierce said.

The ranch is on a 214 square-mile piece of land, and around 20,000 scouts visit it per year, according to the website.

“This is a very difficult time for our entire Scouting family,” the statement read. “Please keep the family and those involved in your thoughts and prayers.”

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