A total of 828 soldiers were affected by an infection in a military barrack in the western province of Manisa, the Health Ministry has said, adding that one soldier, Hüsnü Özel, was killed as a result.
According to the ministry, some 59 soldiers were receiving treatment in hospital and one was in intensive care as of May 25.
The ministry said the soldiers at the Manisa First Infantry Training Brigade Command went to emergency service with complaints of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea on May 23, 24 and 25.
A delegation of 10 experts, including one professor, from the ministry’s Public Health Institution of Turkey was sent to Manisa after the incident, and they were later joined by five doctors and five nurses from hospitals in Manisa.
Saying that information regarding the cause of the infection will be given after the group of 20 finishes its investigations, the ministry said the condition of the soldier in intensive care is not life-threatening.
“One of our soldiers died at the Merkez Efendi State Hospital. An autopsy will be carried out in the İzmir Forensic Medicine Institute and the exact cause of death will be determined. There are two ambulances waiting at the scene. The soldiers who are suffering similar symptoms are taken under observation in our infirmary by our 150-staff health team, and they will be sent to a hospital if necessary,” it added.
Meanwhile, Özel’s family received his funeral in the Central Anatolian province of Kayseri after autopsy in İzmir.
Speaking about the incident, Manisa Governor Mustafa Hakan Güvençer said the soldiers were diagnosed with bacterial bowel infection.
“However, there is no clarity on defining the bacteria and the causes of it,” Güvençer said, adding that a crisis desk was formed after the incident and that all shared spaces were disinfected.
“The public will probably link the soldier’s death to an infection. However, there is no finding on its link to an infection,” he said.