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15,000 Scouts Flee Storm At French Camp

Thousands of teenagers were evacuated as the massive storm sent tents flying at the Strasbourg jamboree.

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Some 15,000 young scouts who had gathered in northeastern France were evacuated from their campsite on Saturday as a violent storm passed through the region, officials said.

Thousands of teenagers from 29 European nations attending the jamboree, which was organized by Scouts and Guides France, were rushed to safety around 1:30 a.m. local time as the storm began to bear down on the campsite near the city of Strasbourg.

"In several minutes, the wind blew down a large number of tents and structures," the scouting group said in a statement.

Amid the story chaos, some 14 scouts suffered mild injuries, including "sprains, fractures or dislocations," but no one were seriously wounded.

The thousands of youths spent the night inside an indoor stadium.


#YouReUp: énorme orage sur Strasbourg, camp dévasté, les 15.000 @piocara passent la nuit au Zénith! @sgdf

Photos in French media showed barefoot teens covered in thermal blankets being led away by officials.

Pictures shared on Twitter showed tents and belongings strewn around the campsite.

Un ouragan est passé sur #YouReUp a Strasbourg... Les @piocara sont exemplaires de solidarité !

Bordeux Mayor Alain Juppé, a former French prime minister, praised the scouts on Twitter for "smiling and singing through their difficulties."

Après l'orage, les jeunes sur le pont pour reconstruire leur camp. Sourire et chanter dans les difficultés. Courage à eux. AJ #YouReUp @sgdf

On Facebook, the scouting group shared photos of teens returning to the devastated campsite later on Saturday to put their scouting skills to work in rebuilding their tents.

David Mack is a reporter and weekend editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact David Mack at

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