2 Fort Bliss soldiers in ICU, 9 others hospitalized after ingesting chemical used in antifreeze

The U.S. Army Fort Bliss base stands in El Paso, Texas, U.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. President Trump, while making his case for building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, has repeatedly claimed that crime rates dropped in El Paso after a barrier along the the border with Juarez was built a decade ago. - Adria Malcolm/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Originally Published: 29 JAN 21 07:38 ET

Updated: 29 JAN 21 20:52 ET

By Joe Sutton and Amanda Watts, CNN

    (CNN) -- Two soldiers at Fort Bliss received treatment at the intensive care unit of a local hospital Friday for ethylene glycol poisoning, a chemical often used in the making of antifreeze, the Army's 1st Armored Division said.

The soldiers drank a substance during a field training exercise "thinking they were drinking an alcoholic beverage," the statement read, noting alcohol is banned on such exercises. Subsequent toxicology tests revealed the presence of ethylene glycol. Nine other soldiers are also being treated at the hospital in a non-critical care unit as part of the incident.

"The circumstances of how the Soldiers ingested the substance are under investigation by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command (USACIDC). There is no reason to believe there is any threat to the greater Fort Bliss community," the statement read.

Located in El Paso, Texas, Fort Bliss is home to the 1st Armored Division, "America's Tank Division."

The unit was undergoing a field training exercise Thursday when the incident happened.

"We took immediate action to treat everyone involved with the best medical care available," Maj. Gen. Sean C. Bernabe, senior mission commander of the 1st Armored Division and Fort Bliss, said in the statement.

The soldiers are receiving care at the William Beaumont Army Medical Center.

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

The incident was reported in a news release Thursday from Fort Bliss Public Affairs.

"Fort Bliss is investigating an incident involving 11 Fort Bliss Soldiers injured after ingesting an unknown substance during a field training exercise, today," Fort Bliss Public Affairs said in the release.

Fort Bliss and law enforcement officials continue to investigate.

CNN has also reached out to the Department of Defense.

This story has been updated with a statement from Fort Bliss.

The-CNN-Wire
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