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Missing soldiers at Fort Hood found dead, officials say; death toll climbs to 9

By
Doug G. Ware
Two members of a large search party discuss a strategy to locate four missing Army soldiers from Texas' Fort Hood, who disappeared after their vehicle overturned amid fast-moving floodwaters Thursday. The four troops were found dead later Friday, increasing the death toll from the accident to nine. Photo courtesy U.S. Army/Fort Hood
Two members of a large search party discuss a strategy to locate four missing Army soldiers from Texas' Fort Hood, who disappeared after their vehicle overturned amid fast-moving floodwaters Thursday. The four troops were found dead later Friday, increasing the death toll from the accident to nine. Photo courtesy U.S. Army/Fort Hood

KILLEEN, Texas, June 3 (UPI) -- Four missing U.S. Army soldiers from Fort Hood, Texas, who had disappeared after their vehicle overturned amid fast-moving floodwaters, were found dead late Friday, officials said.

The truckload of soldiers were participating in training maneuvers Thursday when they approached a low-water crossing in an area of the base that is steep and heavily wooded. Their tactical vehicle overturned at the crossing and three of the servicemen immediately drowned, officials said.

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Two more were found dead hours later, but four others remained missing. Friday evening, officials at the base said those four have also been found dead.

"Our focus now is on notifying next of kin and caring for our soldiers who have lost one of their teammates," Maj. Gen. John Uberti said at a news conference Friday evening.

RELATED 5 U.S. Army soldiers dead, 4 missing after truck overturns in floodwaters at Fort Hood

Image courtesy NASA

It has not yet been detailed exactly what the soldiers were doing at the crossing, Owl Creek, near Lake Belton, but it was clear the group was operating in rising floodwaters.

"It was a situation where the rain had come, the water was rising quickly and we were in the process, at the moment of the event [of closing the road]," spokesman Chris Haug said earlier.

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NASA on Friday released before-and-after satellite images of the flood area, which highlights the concern of those at Fort Hood and elsewhere across the entire state. Texas has seen historic levels of flooding this week.

The Brazos River, west of Houston, has been particularly swollen, meteorologists say.

Just six weeks after record-setting rainfall, much of Texas has been hit again this week by slow-moving thunderstorms. The water levels on the Brazos rose higher than they have in more than a century, NASA said.

RELATED Rising river prompts evacuations in Houston area as alligators, water moccasins float in

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has declared states of emergency in 31 counties.

Video: CBS News/CBS This Morning

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