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2 Marines Relieved Of Command Over Camp Pendleton Explosion That Killed 4

Staff Sgt. Eric W. Summers
Staff Sgt. Eric W. Summers

An investigation into the Nov. 13 explosion at Camp Pendleton that killed four explosive ordnance disposal Marines has prompted the Marine Corps to relieve a captain and master sergeant of their commands.

Brig. Gen. John Bullard, commanding general of Marine Crops Installations West, told the Los Angeles Times:

The captain and master sergeant had failed to adequately assess the potential danger and to prohibit Marines from handing off grenades.

As Home Post reported previously, the explosion took place as the EOD Marines were conducting range maintenance in the Zula impact area of the base. Part of their duties during maintenance was to "dispose of unexploded ordnance."


A report obtained by the LA Times found the deadly explosion was probably caused by a live grenade round that was "dropped, kicked or bumped," causing it to explode and set off dozens of other rounds.

Killed in the explosion were:

-Staff Sgt. Mathew R. Marsh, 28, of Long Beach, Calif.

-Gunnery Sgt. Gregory J. Mullins, 31, of Bayou L’Ourse, La.

-Sgt. Miguel Ortiz, 27, of Vista, Calif.


-Staff Sgt. Eric W. Summers, 32, of Poplar Bluff, Mo.