There were no fatalities after a structure – a tent – collapsed at Fort Hunter Liggett in King City, California, according to Fort Hunter Liggett. It was initially reported by at least one local news site that three people were dead, but the Army base then released this statement on Twitter: “Accident on post but no reported fatalities. A helicopter landing kicked up wind that caused a tent structure to collapse. More to follow as we assess situation.”
Here is that tweet:
The base has not confirmed whether anyone was injured. Later news reports said 22 people were injured.
According to KSBW-TV, law enforcement agencies were responding to a “mass casualty event” on July 18, 2018. The television station initially reported that 30 people were injured and three people died when “a tent collapsed,” according to the Greenfield Fire Department. However, it’s not uncommon for contradictory reports to emerge in the early stages of breaking news situations.
A person on Facebook asked the base why local television stations were reporting three fatalities and the base was saying there were none, and Fort Hunter Liggett replied, “The news we’ve heard is that there were no fatalities. We are still gathering information.” A person then copied the television story into the base’s comment thread, at which point the base responded, “If anyone has first-hand info we’d like to hear it. Please, no rumors.”
However, Paso Robles Daily News, which had reported the casualties, now says they were reported but not confirmed by base officials at the time.
Here’s what you need to know:
A Major Training Exercise Was Underway at the Base
According to KSBY-TV, “The emergency comes at a time when thousands of U.S. Army Reserve, Army National Guard, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, and Canadian Armed Forces are participating in an annual Combat Support Training Exercise on base.”
“CSTX ensures America’s Army Reserve units and Soldiers are trained and ready to deploy on a moment’s notice, bringing capable, combat-ready, and lethal firepower in support of the Army and our joint partners anywhere in the world,” Public Affairs Officer Amy Phillips said in a statement released on July 16, 2018 before the structure collapse.
The base’s Twitter page reads, “Fort Hunter Liggett on California’s beautiful Central Coast offers a great lifestyle and unparalleled training opportunities to Army Reserve and all of DOD.”
This post was updated with the latest information from the base that no fatalities occurred.