US Marine Dies in Training Accident Near Camp Lejeune Amid Ongoing Water Contamination Concerns

US Marine Dies in Training Accident Near Camp Lejeune Amid Ongoing Water Contamination Concerns

A US Marine tragically lost his life in a training accident near Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. Sgt. Colin Arslanbas, 23, died last Thursday during a late-night exercise in Carteret County, roughly 100 miles southeast of Greenville.

US Marine Dies in Training Accident Near Camp Lejeune Amid Ongoing Water Contamination Concerns

Originally from Missouri, Arslanbas had been recently promoted to sergeant on April 1st. He served as a Reconnaissance Marine with the Maritime Special Purpose Force and had joined the Marine Corps in March 2020.

A spokesperson from the Marines informed that the incident is currently under investigation, but no further details have been provided.

Col. Todd Mahar, commanding officer of the 24th MEU, expressed profound sorrow over the incident: ‘Words cannot convey our sorrow for the tragic loss of one of our MEU family members.’ He added, ‘The 24th MEU family mourns the loss of an outstanding Marine and leader. We offer our deepest condolences and unwavering support to his family during this most difficult time.’

This incident follows the recent loss of Sgt. Alec Langen, 23, and four other Marines during a training exercise in California in February. The group perished when their helicopter crashed amidst stormy conditions near San Diego.

Compounding the tragedies are ongoing controversies surrounding Camp Lejeune, notably concerning historical water contamination issues linked to increased cancer risks among those stationed there from 1975 to 1985. A study by federal health officials this year deemed it one of the largest of its kind in the United States, identifying elevated risks for several types of cancers among military personnel compared to those stationed elsewhere.

David Savitz, a disease researcher at Brown University, noted that while the study is ‘quite impressive,’ it does not conclusively prove that the contaminated water caused the cancers. The contamination, which originated from the early 1950s to 1985, was largely attributed to poor maintenance and indiscriminate dumping at the base.

The aftermath has led to a surge in litigation, with affected individuals accusing the Marine Corps of neglecting the health of its personnel and criticizing the federal government’s sluggish response to the crisis. The contamination led to significant changes in federal environmental regulations, but not until 1989, four years after the contaminated wells were closed.

The situation prompted a recent federal law, signed in August 2022 by President Joe Biden, which allows those who developed health problems believed to be linked to the water contamination at Camp Lejeune a two-year window to file claims.

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