Fort Bliss soldier injured in training accident on range

EL PASO, Texas - A Fort Bliss Soldier was seriously injured Wednesday night in a training accident at one of the installation's ranges.

The accident involved an artillery round that exploded in the vicinity of a group of soldiers  training. The injured soldier sustained shrapnel wounds to his torso and left hand. He was airlifted to William Beaumont and went straight in to surgery. He is in critical, but stable condition.

"Our thoughts are with this injured Soldier and we wish him a speedy
recovery.  The doctors and nurses at William Beaumont are doing everything
they can for the Soldier," said Maj. Joe Buccino, Fort Bliss spokesman.

Fort Bliss officials say the soldier is a member of the 1st Armored Division's 3rd Brigade, which was conducting a fire coordination exercise in preparation for their upcoming deployment to Afghanistan.

No other soldiers were injured.  Operations at the range where the accident
occurred have been suspended and the Range Safety Office is investigating the
cause of the incident.

"The 1st Armored Division and Fort Bliss are committed to providing the most
realistic possible training to our Soldiers.  We work very hard to avoid
training accidents and safety is always a top priority during these
exercises.  When an accident does occur, it is a tragedy.  The installation
is very focused on determining the cause of this accident and will do
everything we can to keep this from happening again," said Maj. Gen. Sean
MacFarland, Fort Bliss and 1st Armored Division Commander.

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