Four more soldiers dead after flash flooding at Texas base

Maj-Gen John Uberti speaking to the media at Fort Hood on June 3.
Maj-Gen John Uberti speaking to the media at Fort Hood on June 3. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Authorities recovered the bodies of four soldiers Friday (June 3), one day after their vehicle flipped over in a rain-swollen Texas creek during a training exercise.

The four confirmed deaths raised the toll from the accident to nine, Christopher Haug, chief of media relations at Fort Hood military base, told AFP.

US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter, who is attending the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Shangri-La Dialogue security summit in Singapore on Saturday (June 4), confirmed the deaths.

The troops were on a training mission at the base when their vehicle was caught in flash flooding.

"Due to the quick action of some other soldiers that were training, we were able to rescue three soldiers who are in stable condition," Major General John Uberti told reporters earlier on Friday.

"We're providing the support and counseling for the families, friends and soldiers as we work through the notification and grieving process." Bodies of the other five victims were recovered Thursday.

Texas has seen several days of severe storms, including in the area around Fort Hood, where the Light Medium Tactical Vehicle - a military truck - the soldiers were traveling in overturned.

An aerial search, canine units and swift water rescue boats were all deployed in response to the accident.

The Fort Hood Army base is located approximately 320km northwest of Houston. Nearly 41,000 soldiers are stationed there.