Tinker Air Force Base officials tight-lipped on 17 deaths since January
There have been at least 17 deaths on Tinker Air Force Base this year, but details of the death are unclear.
The deaths were first revealed in reporting by the online news site Military.com.
A statement from Tinker officials provided after the Military.com report, provided some clarity.
Air Force Installation commander Col. Abigail Ruscetta says in a statement that 11 uniform and civilian airmen died as a result of natural causes or accidents. The other six deaths remain under investigation – most of the people who died were civilians.
"Each and every death is a tragedy," Ruscetta said in the statement. "Following each loss of life, leaders from the affected unit engaged with their people to acknowledge the loss of a valued teammate. We offered many avenues of support, including a network of helping agencies, mental health counselors, chaplains, and Military Family Readiness professionals."
The base in central Oklahoma has more than 30,000 personnel, including service members, contractors and civilians.
The outlet was also told by base officials that the Air Force policy is to prohibit disclosure of the number and causes of deaths, including suspected suicides still under investigation.
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