Marines Killed At Camp Pendleton Were Clearing Unexploded Ordnance
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Marine Corps officials said Thursday the four Marines killed a day earlier while clearing unexploded ordnance from a range at California's Camp Pendleton were bomb technicians. They planned to release the Marines' names later Thursday.
Aired 11/14/13 on KPBS News.
Marine Corps officials said Thursday the four Marines killed a day earlier while clearing unexploded ordnance from a range at California's Camp Pendleton were bomb technicians.
The position of explosive ordnance disposal technician is one of the few in the Marine Corps in which team members can quit at any time.
Bomb technicians say few do, despite the inherent risks that come with finding and getting rid of unexploded munitions — whether on the battlefield or on a U.S. base.
Base officials say they'll release no details until an investigation into the cause of the accident is concluded.
The Marines were reportedly engaged in training activities in the Zulu Impact area, where Marines conduct artillery and bombing exercises on Camp Pendleton.
Marine headquarters in Virginia would provide no information about what may have happened or the procedures for investigating the incident. Base officials said there will be at least two investigations: one by the unit's commander; and another safety investigation, to see if the Marines need to change their procedures in the future. Both of those would be internal.
Officials said training exercises on base have not been cancelled.
An accident in Nevada last May killed seven Marines in a mortar explosion during training. That investigation took two months, and concluded that human error was to blame. Officials did not say whether procedures were changed following that review.
Several officers, including the battalion commander, were relieved of their duties after that incident.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.