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11 Fort Bliss Soldiers Hospitalized After Ingesting ‘Unknown Substance’

Eleven soldiers at Fort Bliss in Texas remained in medical care a day after ingesting an “unknown substance” during a field training exercise, the Army said on Friday. Two soldiers were in critical condition and nine were in serious condition.

The soldiers fell ill after consuming something that they had acquired “outside of authorized food supply distribution channels,” according to a statement from Fort Bliss’s First Armored Division and Public Affairs Office.

“We took immediate action to treat everyone involved with the best medical care available,” Maj. Gen. Sean C. Bernabe, the senior mission commander of the First Armored Division and Fort Bliss, said in the statement. “Our commitment to soldiers and families remains our No. 1 priority as we work to understand what occurred Jan. 28.”

The Army did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday. The incident posed no threat to the community, the First Armored Division said on Twitter.

Fort Bliss officials were working with law enforcement officials to investigate the incident, the statement said. The injured personnel, which included one warrant officer, two noncommissioned officers and eight enlisted soldiers, were receiving care at the William Beaumont Army Medical Center in Texas, the statement said.

The First Armored Division, according to the Army’s website, is also known as “Old Ironsides.” The division consists of 17,000 trained soldiers and carries out operations in support of U.S. military geographic combatant commands.

Fort Bliss had been struck with a spate of unfortunate incidents, including several deaths in recent weeks. At the beginning of the year, a soldier was found dead in her barracks months after reporting a sexual assault. Weeks later, a second soldier was found dead at home. Two other soldiers were killed in separate traffic accidents this month.

Michael Levenson contributed reporting.

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