FORT BRAGG, N.C. – A training exercise involving demolitions killed one special operations soldier and injured seven others at the Army’s largest base Thursday, just a day after 15 Marines were hurt in a fire while training in California.
The soldiers were taken to several hospitals, including the Womack Army Medical Center on base for treatment, said Lt. Col. Rob Bockholt, a spokesman for the U.S. Army’s Special Operations Command, which is based at Fort Bragg in North Carolina.
Staff Sgt. Alexander P. Dalida, 32, of Dunstable, Massachusetts, was killed during the exercise, Bockholt said. The cause of death is under investigation. Dalida, who enlisted in 2006, was assigned to 1st Special Warfare Training Group (Airborne).
Bockholt didn’t know the extent of the other soldiers’ injuries.
Initial reports said the injuries happened in an explosion, but Bockholt says he could not confirm that.
“There was an incident that occurred on one of the ranges,” Bockholt said, adding that the command is investigating. “We’re looking into exactly what happened.”
The soldiers were students from the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School and they were at a range on base, the Army said.
A day earlier, eight Marines were rushed to a burn centre and seven others also were hospitalized after a fire in their amphibious vehicle during training at Camp Pendleton in California.
Also, a soldier was killed Tuesday night during hoist training for medical helicopter evacuations at Fort Hood in Texas.
Outside Fort Bragg’s gates, it seemed like a typical day, with cars and trucks streaming in and out of one of the world’s largest Army installations.
About 57,000 military personnel are attached to Fort Bragg, a 161,000-acre base located next to Fayetteville, North Carolina.
The Army’s Special Operations Command has about 23,000 soldiers spread over several sites.