FORT BRAGG, N.C. - One U.S. special operations member is dead and seven others were injured Thursday during a training exercise involving demolitions at the Army's largest base.
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.
The soldier who died has been identified as Staff Sgt. Alexander P. Dalida, 32, of Dunstable, Massachusetts.
"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.
According to neighbor Vinny Falco, Dalida leaves behind a wife and several children. Faclo said he remembers Dalida as a typical boy growing up in small town New England.
"He was a great young man. As we saw him grow and mature,” Falco said. "It's a heartbreak, lost his life for our country.”
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.
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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