1 sol­dier killed, 7 hurt in de­mo­li­tion train­ing ex­er­cise

The Mercury News Weekend - - NEWS - FORT BRAGG

FORT BRAGG, N.C. » A train­ing ex­er­cise in­volv­ing de­mo­li­tions killed one spe­cial op­er­a­tions sol­dier and in­jured seven oth­ers at the Army’s largest base Thurs­day, just a day af­ter 15 Marines were hurt in a fire while train­ing in Cal­i­for­nia.

The sol­diers were taken to sev­eral hos­pi­tals, in­clud­ing the Wo­mack Army Medical Cen­ter on base for treat­ment, said Lt. Col. Rob Bock­holt, a spokesman for the U. S. Army’s Spe­cial Op­er­a­tions Com­mand, which is based at Fort Bragg in North Carolina.

Staff Sgt. Alexan­der P. Dal­ida, 32, of Dun­sta­ble, Mas­sachusetts, was killed dur­ing the ex­er­cise, Bock­holt said. The cause of death is un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion. Dal­ida, who en­listed in 2006, was as­signed to 1st Spe­cial War­fare Train­ing Group (Air­borne).

Bock­holt didn’t know the ex­tent of the other sol­diers’ in­juries.

Ini­tial re­ports said the in­juries hap­pened in an ex­plo­sion, but Bock­holt says he could not con­firm that.

“There was an in­ci­dent that oc­curred on one of the ranges,” Bock­holt said, adding that the com­mand is in­ves­ti­gat­ing. “We’re look­ing into ex­actly what hap­pened.”

The sol­diers were stu­dents from the John F. Kennedy Spe­cial War­fare Cen­ter and School and they were at a range on base, the Army said.

A day ear­lier, eight Marines were rushed to a burn cen­ter and seven oth­ers also were hos­pi­tal­ized af­ter a fire in their am­phibi­ous ve­hi­cle dur­ing train­ing at Camp Pendle­ton in Cal­i­for­nia.

Also, a sol­dier was killed Tues­day night dur­ing hoist train­ing for medical he­li­copter evac­u­a­tions at Fort Hood in Texas.

About 57,000 mil­i­tary per­son­nel are at­tached to Fort Bragg, a 161,000-acre base lo­cated next to Fayet­teville, North Carolina.

The Army’s Spe­cial Op­er­a­tions Com­mand has about 23,000 sol­diers spread over sev­eral sites.

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