(NewsNation) — Over 4,600 military personnel, family members and civilians have filed legal claims against the U.S. over illnesses they say were caused by water contaminated with jet fuel at the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii, according to Military.com.
In November 2021, the U.S. Navy’s massive underground fuel storage at the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Facility in O’ahu leaked 19,000 gallons of petroleum into the island’s drinking water, contaminating the main water source for more than 93,000 people.
The number of people filing legal claims has nearly tripled in the past three months.
Shortly after the spill, residents of the installation complained of headaches, upset stomachs, neurological problems, rashes, skin lesions and other symptoms.
The U.S. government has accepted responsibility for the accident and is not denying it was negligent in the spill, according to attorney Kristina Baehr of Just Well Law.
“The government is not contesting that it’s liable. That’s historic. We are not aware of any case of this magnitude and certainly not an environmental case, where the government has accepted liability,” Baehr said in an interview with Military.com.