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Fire That Injured Troops At Camp Pendleton Still Under Review

A Marine Amphibious Assault Vehicle comes ashore at Red Beach during a spring...

Photo by Matthew Bowler

Above: A Marine Amphibious Assault Vehicle comes ashore at Red Beach during a spring exercise, April 13, 2017.

The Marines are still looking into what caused the fire that sent 15 service members to the hospital after they were pulled from a burning vehicle on Camp Pendleton.

The accident happened during a training exercise at around 9:30 a.m., on Sept. 13, where 14 Marines and a sailor were injured in a fire involving in an Amphibious Assault Vehicle at Camp Pendleton. The Marines aren’t revealing much more about what happened. They are also not revealing how many of the service members remain hospitalized, citing respect for the family, according to Lt. Paul Gainey, a Pendleton spokesman.

RELATED: 15 Marines Injured At Camp Pendleton After Accident

The Washington Post quoted an unnamed U.S. official in a report that came out the week of the accident, stating the vehicle struck a natural gas line during an exercise.

The First Marine Division is conducting an investigation into the accident. The Navy is also conducting a separate safety investigation. The Marines expect the reports to take several more weeks, Gainey said.

RELATED: Investigation Underway After 15 Marines Were Injured In Camp Pendleton Accident

Photo by Matthew Bowler

An Amphibious Assault Vehicle during spring exercise at Camp Pendleton, April 13, 2017.

The Marines have used AAVs since the 1970s to transport troops from ships to the beach as part of an amphibious landing.

Attempts to build a vehicle to replace the AAV during the 2000s were canceled due to cost. The Marines are in the process of testing two versions of a wheeled the amphibious troop carrier that is faster in the water and more maneuverable on land than the tracked AAV.

At the moment, the Marines aren’t expected to retire last AAV until 2030.

Nearly two weeks after the accident, the Marines are saying little about what caused the accident that sent 14 Marines and a sailor to the hospital.


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Steve Walsh
Military Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI cover military and veterans issues for KPBS and American Homefront, a partnership of public radio stations and NPR. I cover issues ranging from delpoying troops along the California border to efforts to lower suicide rates among veterans.

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