Local News

Civilian among those injured in Fort Bragg fatal training incident

Posted September 14, 2017 11:35 a.m. EDT
Updated September 15, 2017 7:33 p.m. EDT

— One soldier was killed and seven others were injured Thursday morning during a training exercise at Fort Bragg. Among those injured was one civilian.

According to the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, the incident occurred during a demolitions training incident on Rage 69 at Fort Bragg and involved students and cadre from the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School.

Staff Sgt. Alexander P. Dalida, 32, of Dunstable, Massachusetts, died as a result of the incident.

An observer from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives received minor injuries during the incident.

"Our primary focus is to care for his loved ones. We will honor Staff Sgt. Dalida and help his family in their time of need," said Colonel Michael Kornburger, Commander of the 1st Special Warefare Training Group at the John F. Kennedy Special Warefare Center.

The injured soldiers were taken by helicopter and ambulance to local hospitals, including Womack Army Medical Center and UNC Hospital in Chapel Hill.

"There was an incident that occurred on one of the ranges," Lt. Col. Rob Bockholt said, adding that the command is investigating. "We're looking into exactly what happened."

Fort Bragg officials initially said 15 people had been injured as a result of the incident, but later amended that number to eight. Initial reports said the injuries happened in an explosion, but Bockholt says he could not confirm that.

Authorities did not release information on the condition of the other seven soldiers soldiers.

Dalida, a soldier enrolled in the Special Forces Qualification Course at John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center, enlisted in the Army in September 2006. His awards include the Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal with one oak-leaf cluster, Army Achievement Medal with one oak-leaf cluster, Army Good Conduct medal, the Combat Action Badge, Aviation Badge, Parachuitist's Badge and Air Assault Badge.

"The special operations community is a close-knit family. At the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, we consider every student who enters our institution a part of our SWCS family. Staff Sgt. Dalida's death is a reminder that a soldier’s job is inherently dangerous. Our thoughts and prayers are with Staff Sgt. Dalida's family and friends," said Maj. Gen. Kurt Sonntag, Commander of the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School.

The events leading up to the explosion remain under investigation, officials said. All other ranges on post remained open Thursday.

“Renee and I are sorry to hear about today's training accident at Fort Bragg. We will continue to pray for the soldiers who were injured and their families. As the investigation continues, I'm in touch with the U.S. Army Special Operations Command and I will continue to monitor the situation," said. Rep. Richard Hudson, whose district includes Fort Bragg.

The incident comes one day after 15 Marines were injured in California when an amphibious vehicle caught fire during a training exercise at a military base.