A bolt of lightning killed a 15-year-old Boy Scout and injured three others while they slept in a log shelter during a violent storm late Tuesday.
"There was a big flash and a big boom," said Stephen Morris, a trauma surgeon at the University of Utah's burn unit who was with the troop. "Somebody came running down the trails saying, 'Help, we need help.' " Morris said he tried for 90 minutes to revive the boy, who had no heartbeat.
Two of the injured boys were flown to the burn unit. One was in good condition, and the family of the other asked that no information be released. A third boy was in fair condition at another hospital.
The family of the victim, Paul Ostler, released a statement thanking leaders and doctors at the Scout camp "who tried so valiantly to save Paul's life."
Morris told Salt Lake television station KUTV: "I just sat on the bed and cried. I couldn't go to sleep. I was just sitting there thinking, 'This poor guy.' "
The accident marked the second deadly lightning strike to hit a Boy Scout camp in the past week. Last Thursday, an assistant Scoutmaster and a 13-year-old Scout were killed by lightning in California's Sequoia National Park.
Four Scout leaders at the National Boy Scout Jamboree in Virginia were electrocuted July 25 in front of several Scouts after they lost control of a metal pole at the center of a large dining tent, sending it toppling into nearby power lines.
In Utah, officials said the heavy elevated log structure, open on one side, would have been the safest place in the mountains to seek shelter from the storm. The lightning made what appeared to be a direct hit on the structure, Sheriff's Deputy Wally Hendricks said.
Camp Steiner is the highest Boy Scout camp in the country at 10,400 feet in the Uinta Mountains. About 60 miles east of Salt Lake City, the area is a magnet for thunderstorms on summer afternoons.
All four boys belong to the same Salt Lake troop and are between the ages of 12 and 16.
The dead boy's parents, Brent and Teresa Ostler of Salt Lake City, said Paul was an Eagle Scout, the highest rank in Scouting.