Massive search for missing Fort Hood soliders on Lake Belton

Military helicopters flew low over the western edge of Lake Belton Friday. The search included aircraft from Austin and DPS, as well as boats from Texas Parks and Wildlife.

It was a massive effort, in a desperate attempt, to find any sign of the missing Fort Hood soldiers.

Ray Gonzales started watching all the activity Thursday night  from his North Shore home.

"The helicopters were out with lights looking, searching way up in here, which was unusual I think and I've been looking with my binoculars in the debris, but I haven't seen anything. But yeah, it was pretty intense last night," said Gonzales.

The search was launched  after a transport vehicle carrying a team of soldiers was swept into Owl Creek. Friday morning, Major General John Uberti said the incident happened during a convoy training exercise.

"Due to the quick action of some other solders that were training, we were able to rescue three soldiers who are in stable condition, at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center and will potentially be released later today," said Uberti.

By late Thursday evening, search and recovery teams had located five bodies but four soldiers were still missing.

A backpack from one of the survivors was found not too far away from Owl Creek Park. The search grid is large, about five miles, from the park all the way up to the creek to the accident scene on post.

As the search contiued for the missing, General Uberti announced that counseling services were being organized for friends and family of the victims.

"I'd also like the thank the community for their outpouring of support, their thoughts and prayers, they will be needed, in the tough days ahead."

It was a request Ray Gonzales was more than willing to do.

"For the families, I prayed this morning, for the families and stuff," said Gonzales.

Officials were withholding names of the victims until next of kin could be notified. 

According to a news release from Fort Hood, the soldiers are part of the Third Battalion, 16th Field Artillery Regiment, Second Armored Brigade Combat Team,  and First Cavalry Division.
 

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