Local News

Army investigates another baby death at Fort Bragg

Posted November 22, 2010 7:48 p.m. EST
Updated November 22, 2010 8:11 p.m. EST

— Army investigators on Monday were looking into the death of an infant who lived in military housing at Fort Bragg – the 11th such death in less than four years.

A 5-month-old girl died Saturday at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, Fort Bragg spokesman Tom McCollum said. The Army's Criminal Investigative Command is examining the circumstances of her death, he said.

Ten other children, ages 8 months to 2 years, have died in military housing on post since 2007, including one house where two infants died within three months.

One of the deaths has been ruled a case of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, while the cause of death for the other nine children remains undetermined.

The cause of the 5-month-old girl's death hasn't been determined yet, but there were no obvious signs of trauma and foul play isn't suspected, McCollum said.

Fort Bragg has tested 10 homes connected to the deaths for carbon monoxide, mercury vapor, mold, lead, asbestos and toxins in the drywall.

All the tests were negative or were at levels well below the standard for human exposure set by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, said Col. Stephen Sicinski, Fort Bragg's garrison commander. Those levels, however, are based upon adults, he said.

McCollum said tests on the air quality in the house where the 5-month-old girl lived also came back negative. Results on tests for mold and volatile organic compounds haven't come back yet, he said.

The Consumer Products Safety Commission is conducting its own tests of the homes for Chinese drywall, which has reportedly sickened people across the nation. Those tests are not yet complete.