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Two Fort Bliss soldiers remain hospitalized, nine return home after drinking antifreeze

By ROSE L. THAYER | STARS AND STRIPES Published: February 1, 2021

AUSTIN, Texas — Nine of the 11 Fort Bliss soldiers who were hospitalized after drinking antifreeze during a training exercise at the west Texas Army base have been released from the hospital, base officials said Monday.

The troops drank the potentially lethal substance thinking it was alcohol and became ill Thursday afternoon. All of them spent at least one night at William Beaumont Army Medical Center at Fort Bliss. One soldier remained in intensive care Monday, while another continued to receive treatment in a noncritical unit, Fort Bliss said. Both have continued to improve. The other nine were released from the hospital during the weekend.

Medical officials determined they ingested ethylene glycol, which is more commonly known as antifreeze. Even in small amounts, the chemical can cause immediate kidney failure. Other symptoms include nausea, agitation, and confusion.

An administrative investigation and an investigation by the Army Criminal Investigation Command are underway to determine “the facts and circumstances that led to the incident,” according to Fort Bliss.

The 11 soldiers — one warrant officer, two noncommissioned officers and eight enlisted members — were all assigned to 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade of the 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command and were participating in a 10-day training exercise at McGregor Training Complex.

Two batteries from the 3rd Battalion, 43rd Air Defense Artillery Regiment were involved in the training.

“Fort Bliss remains committed to caring for our people, their families and community. We will continue to provide additional details as they become available,” officials said.

thayer.rose@stripes.com
Twitter: @Rose_Lori