FORT HOOD, Texas – Four additional bodies have been found, raising the death toll to nine soldiers after a a military vehicle was swept away by fast-moving flood waters Thursday night at Fort Hood, officials announced at a Friday press conference.
"I'm sad to report that we recovered four missing soldiers. Tragically, all four missing soldiers are deceased," U.S. Army Maj. Gen. John Uberti said.
Officials said twelve people were onboard the light medium tactical vehicle when it was swept away at a low-water crossing at a rain-swollen Owl Creek.
"Our focus now is notifying the next of kin and caring for or soldiers, who have lost one of their teammates," Uberti said.
Three soldiers were rescued from the swift waters. Army officials said they were transported from Coryell Memorial Healthcare System in Gatesville to Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center in Fort Hood, but have since been released.
"The army is a family and to lose one soldier is to lose too many." Spokes person Chris Haug with Fort Hood said.
More than 170 agents from various statewide organizations had joined the team at Fort Hood to search for the soldiers — four were still missing up until Friday afternoon.
Those who live nearby said their hearts are with the soldiers and their families.
"This is definitely the civilian only side, I've never seen soldiers down here training for anything. Definitely devastating, out hearts go out to the families of the soldiers involves in this, I can't imagine what they're going through," Julia Castaneda said Thursday.
Multiple resources from the Fort Hood Directorate of Emergency Services, local and state agencies have been deployed to assist with the rescue and recovery of personnel and property.
Emergency operations include aircraft, canine search teams, heavy-ground equipment, swift-water rescue watercraft and search personnel.
Governor Greg Abbott offered his condolences to the victims and their families during a tour of flood soaked parts of Brazoria County.
"Our grief and our prayers go out to the victims and the families of the victims," the Governor said. "If that can happen to trained soldiers. It can also happen to untrained civilians.”