Photo courtesy Fort Bliss
Friday afternoon, Fort Bliss officials provided an update on the situation regarding eleven soldiers that were injured after ingesting an unknown substance during a field training exercise on Thursday, January 28th.
According to Fort Bliss officials, initial reports indicate the soldiers consumed a substance, thinking they were drinking an alcoholic beverage. Initial toxicology results indicate the Soldiers are experiencing ethylene glycol poisoning.
Army and Fort Bliss regulations prohibit the consumption of alcohol in a field training environment.
Officials say that all eleven Soldiers are assigned to the 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, 32d Army Air and Missile Defense Command, an active duty unit stationed at Fort Bliss.
This incident occurred on the final day of a ten-day field exercise at Fort Bliss’s McGregor Range Complex. The affected Soldiers reported with symptoms to the William Beaumont Army Medical Center between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. on January 28.
As of Friday, post officials say that all injured personnel remain at William Beaumont Army Medical Center. Two Soldiers remain seriously ill and are admitted to the Intensive Care Unit.
Nine Soldiers remain admitted to the non-critical care ward, under observation and close lab monitoring.
“Our primary concern remains the well-being of our Soldiers, our Families, and the unit,” officials shared via a news release. “Our teammates are receiving the best medical resources available.”
Officials said that unit and installation chaplains are attending to those in need.
The circumstances of how the Soldiers ingested the substance are under investigation by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command (USACIDC).
“There is no reason to believe there is any threat to the greater Fort Bliss community,” officials added. “The Fort Bliss senior commander has also directed an administrative investigation to determine the facts and circumstances that led to yesterday’s events.”