3 soldiers killed in training accident at Army base


A Bradley Fighting Vehicle is seen in this file photo at Fort Stewart, Georgia. Three U.S. soldiers with the 3rd Infantry Division were killed and three others injured during a training accident at an Army base in Georgia.

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FORT STEWART — Three U.S. soldiers with the 3rd Infantry Division were killed and three others were injured during a training accident in Georgia early Sunday morning, according to the Army.

The soldiers were riding in a Bradley Fighting Vehicle at Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield when the vehicle “rolled over into water at approximately 3:20 a.m.,” Fort Stewart said in a statement.

Three soldiers were pronounced dead on site and three others were taken to Winn Army Community Hospital on Fort Stewart for their injuries. Two of the injured soldiers were later released, and the third was moved to Memorial Hospital in Savannah, Georgia, with non-life-threatening injuries, the statement said.

“Today is a heartbreaking day for the 3rd Infantry Division, and the entire Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield community, as we are all devastated after a training accident this morning on the Fort Stewart Training Area,” said Maj. Gen. Tony Aguto, commanding general of the 3rd Infantry Division.

“We are extremely saddened by the loss of three Dogface Soldiers, and injuries to three more. Our hearts and prayers go out to all the families affected by this tragedy,” he said.

The accident is under investigation by the 3rd Infantry Division and a team from the U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center at Fort Rucker, Alabama.

The names of the soldiers — who were part of the division’s 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team — will be released 24 hours after their next-of-kin are notified, the statement said.

The Bradley Fighting Vehicle is a 27-ton armored vehicle designed to carry infantry squads into battle. It can carry six soldiers plus three crew members and is armed with a 25 mm cannon, a TOW missile system and a machine gun mounted coaxially to the cannon.

Fort Stewart, founded in 1940, is the largest Army installation east of the Mississippi River and covers almost 280,000 acres, according to its website. The 3rd Infantry Division, one of the U.S. Army’s mechanized infantry divisions, is the base’s largest unit.

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