Five soldiers have been found dead after a tactical vehicle was turned over by a flood-swollen creek in Fort Hood, Texas late last night. At least four more men have been declared missing from the 3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, according to a press release.
Torrential downpours have become a serious issue for the state of Texas, so much so that Gov. Greg Abbott declared a state of disaster in 31 counties yesterday morning.
According to the Fort Hood press release, a Light Medium Tactical Vehicle made a swift-water rescue call to emergency personnel around 11:20 a.m. Thursday morning. The vehicle had been overturned and swept away as the driver attempted to navigate over the Owl Creek Tactical low-water crossing during a training exercise.
By 2:50 p.m. the bodies of three deceased soldiers were recovered from the river, with three others rescued and transported to an Army Medical Center in Gatesville. With six soldiers still missing, Fort Hood and local authorities sent out “aircraft, canine search teams, heavy-ground equipment, swift-water rescue watercraft and search personnel” to find them.
Two more soldiers were found dead later in the evening, bringing the deceased total up to five, with four still not located.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the soldiers, their families and the Fort Hood community, and continue to be with those still unaccounted for,” Abbott said in a statement. “Texas stands ready to provide any assistance to Fort Hood as they deal with this tragedy. The brave men and women stationed at Fort Hood and across our country put their lives on the line every day, and be it through rescue operations or on the battlefield, Texas will forever remain grateful for their sacrifices.”
The three soldiers rescued from the water are in stable condition and should be released later today, according to Fort Hood Deputy Commanding General John Uberti, with more information to be released as it becomes available.