Soldiers hospitalized for drinking antifreeze after thinking it was alcohol, military says

Mary Rose Corkery, DCNF

Multiple soldiers stationed at Fort Bliss in Texas were injured Thursday after ingesting antifreeze thinking it was alcohol, according to a U.S. Army press release Saturday.

The 11 injured Army soldiers from the First Armored Division consumed what was described as an “unknown substance during a field training exercise,” according to a Thursday press release. Two soldiers were in critical condition and all the soldiers involved in the incident are under medical observation.

Initial reports suggested the troops believed they drank alcohol, which Fort Bliss and the Army rules forbid in field training exercises, according to a First Armored Division and Fort Bliss Public Affairs Office press release Friday. Initial toxicology results suggest the soldiers had ethylene glycol poisoning.

Ethylene glycol is “a toxic alcohol that is found in various household and industrial agents,” according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Ethylene Glycol and Propylene Glycol toxicity, if severe, could potentially occur in three stages, exhibiting a variety of symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Medical professionals are working hard to attend to the injured and provide all available aid,” Fort Bliss Public Affairs said to CNN.

The First Armored Division is made up of around 17,000 soldiers at Fort Bliss in Texas and is called “Old Ironsides” and “America’s Tank Division,” accordingto the Army.

The U.S. Army Fort Bliss didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Editor’s note: This post has been updated to reflect additional information from Fort Bliss public affairs.

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