Nov. 19, 2009

Virginia Guard Soldiers injured by training simulator at Fort Pickett

BLACKSTONE, Va. — A Virginia National Guard Soldier is in stable condition at MCV  Medical Center after sustaining injuries from the detonation of a small pyrotechnic device used for training at Fort Pickett. The Soldier sustained second degree burns and small lacerations to her  hand, but doctors say she is making good progress and they expect a full recovery.

Thirteen other Soldiers were evacuated Wednesday night to regional hospitals for precautionary reasons because of their proximity to the incident, and those Soldiers have been treated, released and returned to duty.

The detonation occurred Nov. 18 at approximately 8 p.m. in a building on Fort Pickett. The Soldiers were not engaged in training at the time but were conducting an inventory of materials used for field training during the day.

The Soldier is assigned to the Virginia Beach-based 329th Regional Support Group, and the unit has been at Fort Pickett conducting annual training since Nov. 2. The unit’s scheduled training is mostly complete and is scheduled to conduct preparations for movement back to their home stations on Saturday.

Range operations and emergency services personnel from Fort Pickett responded to the incident and were joined by explosive ordnance disposal personnel as well as state and local law enforcement officials. A full investigation of the incident is underway, but initial findings indicate the detonation was accidental.

Names of the Soldiers will not be released until all family members have been notified of the incident.

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