Army: Sick soldiers drank compound found in antifreeze

US Army officials say 11 soldiers at Fort Bliss in Texas were taken ill after drinking an industrial complex found in antifreeze

US Army officials said on Friday that 11 alcohol-occupying soldiers were ill-informed after a 10-day field training exercise at Fort Bliss in Texas after discovering they drank an industrial complex found in antifreeze .

Lt. Col. Eli Payne, a public affairs officer for the 1st Armored Division and Fort Bliss, said during a press conference that preliminary laboratory reports indicated that soldiers consumed ethylene glycol, which usually included engine coolant and brake fluid Is found in automotive products.

Fort Bliss said 11 soldiers, who were in two critical condition, were being treated at the William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso, a border town in Texas, where they have been undergoing treatment since Thursday afternoon. The two soldiers required critical care, but their conditions were advanced.

Payne said one of the soldiers had to be intubated but no longer needed breathing assistance. Four soldiers were expected to be released from the hospital soon.

It is unclear why the soldiers thought the alcohol they were drinking.

Payne said that drinking alcohol is prohibited for Army personnel who are on duty, while also in a training environment. It is not clear what kind of disciplinary action could be taken if the soldiers consumed alcohol while on duty.

Ethylene glycol is a clear, colorless and viscous liquid at room temperature. When used in antifreeze, a fluorescent color such as yellow or green is usually added. The effects of ingesting the compound can range from euphemisms to headaches and nausea or organ failure.

Penne said the 11 soldiers who became ill have been assigned to the 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command, and no other soldiers are affected.

The sick people include a warrant officer, two non-displaced officers and eight enlisted members, Fort Bliss officials said in an earlier statement.

“We took immediate action to treat all those involved with the best medical care available,” said Major General Sean Barnabe, 1st Armored Division and Fort Bliss senior mission commander. The level of providing guidance, information and care for their peers. “

Fort Bliss officials said the US Army Criminal Investigation Command is investigating. The senior commander at Fort Bliss has also directed an administrative investigation.


Acacia Coronado is a core member of the Associated Press / Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a non-profit national service program that puts journalists in local newspapers to report on undercover issues. He reported from Austin, Texas.


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