11 Fort Bliss Soldiers Injured After Ingesting Mystery Substance on Texas Army Base

Eleven soldiers have been injured after ingesting an "unknown substance" during a training exercise at the Fort Bliss military base in Texas, according to a statement from U.S. army officials.

Two of those soldiers are in a critical condition, said representatives of Fort Bliss's 1st Armored Division and public affairs office in a press release on Thursday. Officials at the military base are investigating the incident, the release said, adding that few additional details are known at this time.

"All members involved in the incident are under observation of medical professionals. Fort Bliss officials will provide updates as more information becomes available," the release states.

The 1st Armored Division, based at Fort Bliss, is a renowned U.S. Army armored division, also known as "Old Ironsides," made up of 17,000 highly trained soldiers, according to the Army's website. Fort Bliss is the biggest U.S. training area in the United States.

This latest incident comes shortly after two soldiers were found dead on the camp within a three week time frame.

Soldier Asia Graham, 19, was found unresponsive in her barracks on December 31, 2020. It was not immediately clear following the incident how she died, but she had accused another soldier of sexually assaulting her in December 2019.

Graham had joined the Army in July of that year, and her family said she did not receive any help from leaders at the base when she made the accusations against Pfc. Christian Alvarado.

Graham had said in December 2020 that she felt better a year after the incident, but that she still wanted justice.

"She was ready to fight," her oldest brother Andrew Koenigsfeld told WCNC. "Then that got taken away."

Graham's mother Nicole Graham added that her daughter "wasn't supposed to go," and that "it wasn't her time."

Alvarado, 21, has been charged with sexual assault, aggravated assault and lying in an official statement.

On January 15, a second Fort Bliss soldier was pronounced dead, also by emergency personnel.

Staff Sgt. John D.S. Bailey was a non-commissioned officer serving an on-post residence at Fort Bliss since March 2019. It was unclear how 27-year-old Bailey died. He had been a member of the Army since January 2013.

Capt. Kristopher Italiano, Headquarters Company Commander of the 4th Battalion, 70th Armored Regiment, said in a statement that many were "deeply saddened at the loss of such a bright and talented" non-commissioned officer.

Fort Bliss Military Base in Texas Entrance
An entrance to Fort Bliss military base, where eleven soldiers have been injured after ingesting a mystery substance during a training exercise on Thursday. Joe Raedle/Getty