A late-night, live-fire, training exercise at Hawthorne Army Depot in Nevada, has left seven U.S. Marines dead.
The training base is about 140 miles southeast of Reno and is used by both the Army and the Marines; often just prior to troops being deployed to Afghanistan.
The horrific incident is under investigation by the military and there will be no names released until all next-of-kin are notified.
At this time, the cause of the 60-millimeter mortar explosion is not known, but what is known, is that until further notice Marines will not be using this type of mortar.
While many details of the accident remained unclear, a Marine Corps official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the news media said the Marines had been training with a 60-millimeter mortar during a live-fire exercise when one of the mortars detonated.
It is not known whether the mortar exploded prematurely inside its firing tube, if more than a single round had exploded or if it detonated among Marines after having been fired.
The mal-function occurred Monday night at approximately 10:00 p.m.on the 150,000 acre, multi-use, desert training center.
The Marines were all taken to Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno, the region's only Level II trauma center.
There were several Marines who sustained life-threatening injuries in the incident, in addition to the seven who have been listed by the military as deceased.
This year has been exceptionally deadly for U.S. troops in training.
The National Military Examiner publishes military and military-related content from around the world that often misses mainstream media, including all troop losses.
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