1 soldier dead, 7 others hurt in training accident at Fort Bragg
FORT BRAGG, N.C. - One soldier is now reported dead and seven more injured in a demolitions training mishap at a Fort Bragg firing range.
The death and injuries were caused by an explosion during a training exercise on post. Fort Bragg officials said the eight soldiers were taken to Womack Army Medical Center and other area hospitals by air and ground.
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The Army said students and instructors at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School were doing demolition training on a Fort Bragg Range when it happened.The cause of death for 32-year-old Staff Sgt. Alexander P. Dalida of Dunstable, Massachusetts is under investigation, Fort Bragg officials said in a press release. Dunstable was enrolled in the Special Forces Qualification Course at the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, the release stated. "Our primary focus right now is to care for his loved ones. We will honor Staff Sgt. Dalida and help his family in their time of need," said Col. Michael Kornburger, stationed in Fort Bragg. Dunstable enlisted in the U.S. Army in September 2006, the release stated. He was the recipient of multiple awards and decorations, including the Air Medal and Army Achievement Medal.
Lt. Col. Rob Bockholt, a spokesman for the U.S. Army's Special Operations Command, said he didn't know the extent of the soldiers' injuries. "There was an incident that occurred on one of the ranges," Bockholt said, and he added that the command is investigating. "We're looking into exactly what happened."
The soldiers are part of U.S. Army Special Operations Command (USASOC).
U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson, R-NC, whose 8th District includes Fort Bragg, released a statement following the incident. "Renee and I are sorry to hear about today's training accident at Fort Bragg," Hudson said. "We will continue to pray for the soldiers who were injured and their families. As the investigation continues, I'm in touch with the U.S. Army Special Operations Command and I will continue to monitor the situation."
North Carolina's senators, Richard Burr and Thom Tillis, both tweeted thoughts and prayers for the injured soldiers.
The incident comes a day after a U.S. soldier was killed at Fort Hood, Texas, while conducting a medical evacuation hoist training in an HH-60M Black Hawk helicopter. Also on Wednesday, a Marine Corps amphibious assault vehicle caught on fire during training at Camp Pendleton, California, injuring 15 Marines.
ABC News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.