A SUBSTANCE that 11 Fort Bliss soldiers were injured drinking turned out to be antifreeze - but they thought it was alcohol, US Army officials revealed on Friday.
The soldiers became sick, and two were in critical condition, after ingesting an unknown substance on Thursday following a 10-day field training exercise.Eleven soldiers at Fort Bliss were injured after ingesting an unknown substanceCredit: Getty Images - Getty US Army officials revealed the substance was antifreezeCredit: Getty - Contributor
Laboratory reports showed that the soldiers drank ethylene glycol, which is often in engine coolant, brake fluid and other automotive products, according to Lt Col Allie Payne, a public affairs officer for Fort Bliss and the 1st Armored Division.
Ethylene glycol is a clear and colorless liquid at room temperature, and can cause euphoria, nausea, headaches and even organ failure if ingested.
Fluorescent coloring like green or yellow is commonly added to ethylene glycol when it is used in antifreeze.
During her press conference, Payne said Army personnel are not allowed to drink alcohol while on duty, including while they are training.The Fort Bliss soldiers thought they were drinking alcohol, according to Army officialsCredit: Getty - Contributor
It was not immediately clear why the soldiers at the Army base thought they were drinking alcohol or what disciplinary actions they would face if they had consumed alcohol.
All the injured soldiers were treated at William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso, Texas.
The two soldiers that required critical care had their conditions upgraded.Army personnel are prohibited from drinking alcohol while on duty, even when they are trainingCredit: Getty Images - Getty
One soldier required intubation but can now breathe without the help, according to Payne.
At least four soldiers are set to be discharged from the hospital soon.
Maj Gen Sean Bernabe, a senior mission commander for Fort Bliss and the 1st Armored Division, said in a statement that officials “took immediate action to treat everyone involved with the best medical care available.”
“Our leaders are engaged at every level to provide guidance, information, and care for their teammates,” Bernabe stated.
The ill soldiers included eight enlisted officers, one warrant officer and two non-commissioned officers.
They were all assigned to the 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command.