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Camp Justice, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Camp Justice, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (From a DOD video)

WASHINGTON -- A U.S. Navy investigative team sent to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to assess whether conditions on base are connected to a cancer cluster among the legal staff handling detainee cases there has determined that the facility is “habitable for occupancy,” according to initial findings.

The team was sent after a complaint was filed with the Defense Department’s inspector general, saying that at least seven staff members became ill with cancer or other serious illnesses -- including three who died -- after living and working at Camp Justice, the legal compound at Guantanamo Bay. The camp is located directly on the former McCalla Air Field airstrip.

In a statement Friday, the Navy said the team looked at historical documentation at Camp Justice, the medical records of staff who were part of the complaint, and “industrial hygiene and habitability assessments.”

“While a complete and final report is not yet finished, initial findings indicated that the buildings at the Office of Military Commissions (OMC) at Guantanamo Bay are habitable for occupancy,” the Navy said.

The team is expected to present its findings to Navy leadership later this month, which will then determine whether any additional review will take place.

copp.tara@stripes.com Twitter: @TaraCopp

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