UPDATE Seven Marines killed and eight injured in Nevada incident
March 20, 2013
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
*** Updated March 20, 2013 at 12:30 p.m. ***
Seven Marines from the 2nd Marine Division were killed and eight others were injured, which includes a Navy Corpsman, after an explosion at Hawthorne Army Depot, Nev., on Monday, March 18, 2013.
The eighth injured Marine reported his injuries the following day on March 19. Currently, the sailor is considered very seriously injured; five others are seriously injured and two Marines have been treated for minor injuries and released back to the unit.
The identities of the fallen Marines will be announced tonight at 9:45 p.m. along with a statement from the unit commander. Status updates of those injured will be provided as it becomes available.
The fatal incident occurred during a training exercise shortly before 10 p.m. The injured were transported to Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno, Nevada for treatment and further evaluation.
Brigadier Gen. Jim Lukeman, 2nd Marine Division Commanding General conducted a press conference on March 19 and shared his comments on the incident with attending media.
“We send our prayers and condolences to the families of the Marines and sailors who have been killed and injured in this tragic accident,” Lukeman said. “Our first priority is to provide them with the support they need during this very difficult time, and we’re doing that right now.”
It is still unclear at this time as to what caused the incident.
“We don’t know yet what caused this malfunction,” Lukeman explained. “A team of investigators has begun the investigation, to figure out just what happened.”
Currently, there is an employment suspension of the 60mm mortar system across the Marine Corps. All units using the system have been directed to immediately discontinue using the mortar system until further notice.
The cause of the incident remains under investigation, and more information will be provided as it becomes available.
March 19 press conference material: