At Least 7 Killed in Explosion at Nevada Marine Training Exercise

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

(CNN) — At least seven Marines were killed as the result of an explosion during a Marine Corps training exercise at Hawthorne Army Depot in western Nevada, the Marine Corps said Tuesday. Seven others were injured.

The cause of the blast was a 60 mm round that detonated inside a mortar tube, injuring the mortar crew and supporting personnel, a military official told CNN.

A representative of Nevada’s Regional Emergency Medical Services Authority said four medical helicopters were sent to transport patients to hospitals.

Earlier, Lt. Col. Craig Short, Hawthorne’s deputy commander, said a traffic accident at the facility around 10 p.m. was related to the blast, but he didn’t explain what the connection was.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who represents Nevada, called it “quite a big explosion” and said the area of the blast was cordoned off as details emerged.

“We don’t know exactly what happened, but it was a violent explosion, we know that,” he said. “Our thoughts are with those who were injured and of course the families of those who lost loved ones.”

The Hawthorne Army Depot, about 140 miles southeast of Reno, is used for storing ammunition and weapon stocks awaiting demilitarization. The facility also provides high desert training facilities for military units.

President Obama was immediately made aware of the incident, and the White House is monitoring the situation, spokesman Jay Carney said.

“We are obviously in the early stages of assessing the incident,” he said. “It is a tragedy, clearly.”

From Barbara Starr, CNN Pentagon Correspondent.

CNN’s Tina Burnside contributed to this report.

The-CNN-Wire/Atlanta/+1-404-827-WIRE(9473)
™ & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s