7 Marines Die After Nevada Mortar Explosion

HAWTHORNE, Nev. -- Seven marines from the 2nd Marine Division were killed and eight were injured when a mortar shell exploded during mountain warfare training in Nevada's high desert.

Mourners laid floral arrangements at a park near the Hawthorne Army Depot Tuesday night.

One marine is very seriously injured, five are seriously injured and two have been treated and released, according to a statement from Hawthorne Army Depot Commander Lt. Col. Craig Short.

The explosion occurred Monday night at the sprawling facility during an exercise involving the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force from Camp Lejeune, N.C.

The identities of the Marines killed will be announced Wednesday night.

"We don't know yet what caused this malfunction," said Brigadier Gen. Jim Lukeman. "A team of investigators has begun the investigation, to figure out just what happened."


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