Seven Marines Killed in Explosion at Hawthorne Army Depot
Seven marines were killed and another seven were wounded during a live-fire training exercise when a mortar exploded just before 10 p.m. Monday night. There are conflicting accounts as to what exactly happened during the incident.
“According to one account, a 60-millimeter mortar shell exploded in a tube as Marines were preparing to fire it. Another account said that the shell exploded as Marines were picking it up to load it.” (usnews.nbcnews.com)
Hawthorne Army Depot, where the incident occurred, is approximately 140 miles southeast of Reno and is used for the storage of ammunition and weapon stocks awaiting demilitarization. “The facility also provides high desert training facilities for military units.” (cnn.com)
Officials are still in the early stages of the investigation, as little is known about the details; Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid stated there was “quite a big explosion” and explains the area has been cordoned off for the investigation. (cnn.com)
The injured marines were flown by helicopter to the trauma unit in Reno.