Fort Bragg barracks under fire, again

December 7, 2008 3:45:54 PM PST
A Fort Bragg solider's father is upset about the living conditions in the base's barracks.Evon Colchiski says his son's commanders exposed four soldiers to potentially deadly asbestos. An 82nd Airborne spokesman says the four soldiers are being checked out for possible asbestos exposure.

Colchiski says his son's commanders need to be held accountable for intentionally endangering the lives of the soldiers.

Private Jason Colchiski says he was ordered to cleanup a supply room in his barracks. That order, Colchiski lawyer says, included ripping up old floor tiles made of asbestos.

"What in the world were they thinking when they did this, somebody needs to be accountable for this I mean they did this stuff with a substantial certainty they were exposing people to a very high concentration of asbestos which is a known killer," Colchiski's attorney Charles Holloman said.

Jason Colchiski sent a piece of the tile to his father who had it tested.

Evon Colchiski says lab test showed the level of asbestos in the tiles 25 times higher than the EPA's limit.

He says his son was never given protective clothing or trained in asbestos removal.

Colchiski's attorney says when the father complained his son was taken off the cleanup detail.

"After they removed him from this detail, they had other people come in without protective gear and kept those people in the building and they were possibly exposed to it," Holloman said.

An 82nd spokesman says the barrack's room is now sealed and that EPA officials told them any possible asbestos exposure was probably limited.

Colchiski's lawyer says the family is worried about the health and welfare of their son and the other soldiers.

"Look they did not sign up to get problems like this and the problem with asbestos is this shows up in horrible illness, 10, 20, 30 years later as a result of this," Holloman said.

An 82nd spokesman initially agreed to speak with Eyewitness News, but later retreated saying he would rather wait until he has more facts in the case before commenting.

The barrack in question is similar to several barracks built in the 1950's on Fort Bragg.

This isn't the first time Fort Bragg's barracks have come under fire this year.

In April, the father of another 82nd Airborne soldier complained when his son's unit came home from combat.

They found broken and missing toilets, mold and other unsanitary living conditions.

The discovery prompted an Army-wide investigation into soldiers living conditions.


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