Seven Marines killed in explosion at Nevada Army Depot

Officials: Marines based at Camp Lejuene, NC

A Marine Corps official said seven Marines were killed in a training accident at the Hawthorne Army Depot, Nevada, after a 66 mm mortar exploded unexpectedly during a training accident.
 
The Marines immediately issued an indefinite moratorium on firing of all such mortars worldwide until an investigation clears as safe the type of weapon and ammunition in the tragedy.
 
The Corps said in a statement Tuesday that the accident at around 10 p.m. Monday also injured several with the 2nd Marine Division.  
 
The injured were taken to area hospitals for treatment and further evaluation.
 
The identities of those killed were not released pending notification of their families.
 
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it was not immediately clear whether the mortar exploded prematurely inside its firing tube or whether more than a single round exploded. The official was not authorized to speak to a reporter about the accident.
 
The 60mm mortar is a weapon that traditionally requires three to four Marines to operate, but it's common during training for others to observe nearby.
 
The Hawthorne Army Depot stores and disposes of ammunition.  The facility is made up of hundreds of buildings spread over more than 230 square miles.
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