UPDATE #2: Officials with Fort Bliss and the William Beaumont Army Medical Center said at a briefing late Friday afternoon that eleven hospitalized Fort Bliss soldiers were poisoned from drinking automotive antifreeze that they mistook for alcohol.
All of the soldiers remained hospitalized, but the two critically injured showed significant improvement and were upgraded to serious condition in the hospital's ICU.
One of the soldiers had to be intubated but no longer needs breathing assistance, officials said. Up to four of the soldiers were anticipated to be released from the hospital soon.
The soldiers were diagnosed with ethylene glycol poisoning. Ethylene glycol is a colorless, odorless, sweet liquid that is found in antifreeze. It can cause kidney damage and organ failure.
The Army's Criminal Investigation Command is investigating how the soldiers came to believe what they were drinking was alcohol. Officials said soldiers are not allowed to drink while on duty and involved in field training exercises. It was the tenth and final day of that training when the poisoning occurred.
The 11 sickened soldiers are assigned to the 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command.
UPDATE, Jan. 29: Eleven soldiers at Fort Bliss who were injured after ingesting an unknown substance during a field training exercise remained hospitalized Friday morning, with two listed in critical condition.
U.S. Army officials said the injured soldiers were all being treated by doctors at William Beaumont Army Medical Center, where they have been hospitalized since the incident happened on Thursday afternoon.
The sickened soldiers were identified Friday as one warrant officer, two non-commissioned officers and eight enlisted individuals; officials said their family members were being kept updated on their medical treatment.
Maj. Gen. Sean C. Bernabe, the commander of Fort Bliss and the 1st Armored Division said in a statement Friday that it remained unclear what the substance was. He said the incident was under investigation by Army officials and law enforcement, but he offered the following added information...
"The unit was completing a field training exercise when the incident occurred. The soldiers fell ill after consuming a substance acquired outside of authorized food supply distribution channels."
“We took immediate action to treat everyone involved with the best medical care available. Our leaders are engaged at every level to provide guidance, information, and care for their teammates. Our commitment to our soldiers and families remains our number one priority as we work to understand what occurred Jan. 28."
The 1st Armored Division -- also known as "Old Ironsides"-- is a renowned Army armored division consisting of approximately 17,000 highly-trained soldiers, according to the Army's website.
ORIGINAL REPORT, Jan. 28: FORT BLISS, Texas — Eleven soldiers at Fort Bliss were injured, two of them critically, after ingesting an unknown substance during a field training exercise on Thursday.
U.S. Army officials, in a brief statement, said they were investigating to determine exactly what happened.
"All members involved in the incident are under observation of medical professionals," the statement said.
Officials provided no further details.