Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Seven Marines based at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina were killed Monday night in a training accident that took place at Hawthorne Army Depot in Nevada.
The Marines were with the 2nd Marine Division, according to a news release from the II Marine Expeditionary Force.
Military officials told NPR's Tom Bowman that the Marines were killed during a live-fire exercise when a mortar round exploded inside an artillery tube. Bowman reported three Marines died almost immediately from being hit by shell fragments.
Renown Regional Medical Center spokeswoman Stacy Kendall told the Associated Press the hospital took nine of the Marines injured in the accident, including one who died. Three Marines are in serious condition, and five are in fair condition:
All the patients are men under the age of 30... Kendall described their injuries as penetrating trauma, fractures and vascular injuries.
Maj. Gen. Raymond C. Fox, II MEF commanding general, said in a statement:
“We send our prayers and condolences to the families of Marines involved in this tragic incident. We remain focused on ensuring that they are supported through this difficult time. We mourn their loss, and it is with heavy hearts we remember their courage and sacrifice.”