7 Marines killed in explosion during training at Army Depot in Hawthorne

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Updated: 3/19/2013 9:01 pm
UPDATE 8:55p.m.- Earlier this evening it was reported that 8 Marines were killed in the explosion at the Hawthorne Army Depot.

According to 1st Lieutenant Sin Kook there are still seven dead and eight wounded.

Kook says there was some confusion from a VFW rep at a community vigil who misunderstood Marine terminology with respect to "casualty," which the Marines use in place of "wounded."
UPDATE- 6:35 PM - HAWTHORNE, Nev. (AP) — The condition of a Marine wounded in a mortar shell explosion that killed seven comrades and injured six others during training in Nevada has been upgraded from serious to fair.

Officials at Reno's Renown Regional Medical Center, at a news conference late Tuesday afternoon, said four Marines are in serious condition, two are in fair condition and another was discharged.

Renown emergency physician Dr. Michael Morkin says some Marines were conscious and "knew something happened but didn't know what."

He says he's "fairly confident" that one of the most seriously injured Marines wouldn't have survived had it not been for the response of a Careflight medical helicopter to the remote site near Hawthorne, about 140 miles southeast of Reno.

Morkin says the Marines mostly suffered blunt force trauma from shrapnel.

UPDATE - 6:02PM - One of the patients at Renown has passed away, bringing the death count up to eight.

UPDATE - 5:37PM - A blanket suspension of 60mm mortars and associated tubes is now in effect until review is complete, according to Capt. Kendra N. Motz.

UPDATE - News 4 will attend a press conference at 4pm at REMSA. REMSA and Renown spokespeople are supposed to be at this conference, according to Dan Edblom with NBC News.

UPDATE-  3:08PM - According to a news conference given at Camp LeJeune in North Carolina, two Marines and one sailor are very seriously injured. Three Marines are seriously injured and one Marine sustained minor injuries.

The cause of the explosion is still under investigation. No identities have been revealed at this point, and will not be until 24 hours after official next of kin notification.

UPDATE - 1:56PM - On what ammunition has been suspended after today's training accident in Nevada:

A US military official says all High Explosive and Illumination rounds that are the same lots as those that were being fired at Hawthorne have been suspended and may not be used for training or in the war zone.

All other 60mm mortars are still in use. There is no blanket suspension of 60mm mortars, the official reports.

US military officials are considering halting use of the mortar tubes that were were being used at Hawthorne, but that has not been officially decided yet.

UPDATE - 12:35PM - A memorial service will be held for the Marines tonight at 6pm at Veterans Memorial Park. 

Sources inside Renown say one injured in the explosion has gone from serious condition to fair. No names are available at this time.


General types of injuries include trauma, fractures and vascular injuries.

A general family assistance center phone line, 775-982-6060, has been activated.

Renown will provide updates on the conditions of the patients as we receive new information.

For further information about the incident, contact Capt. Binford Stickland, Public Affairs, U.S. Marines: 910-451-7200 or binford.strickland@usmc.mil.

All media inquires should be referred to the Renown Public Information Officer at 775-691-7308 or news@renown.org.

UPDATE - 10:35AM - HAWTHORNE, Nev. (AP) -- Seven Marines are dead and eight were taken to a Reno hospital after a mortar exploded during a training accident at a rural Nevada Army depot.

Spokesman Mark Earnest of Renown Regional Medical Center says one person has been discharged Tuesday, while five are in serious condition, one is in fair, and one patient has died.

Earlier reports indicated nine people were taken to the hospital, although Earnest wasn't clear how the initial inaccuracy happened.

Marine Corps officials say the accident happened about 10 p.m. Monday when a 60mm mortar exploded at the Hawthorne Army Depot. The Marines were from the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force based at Camp Lejeune, N.C.

The identities of those killed won't be released until 24 hours after their families are notified.

UPDATE 9AM: Renown Medical Center is reporting one person has died at the hospital, 5 patients are in serious condition, 1 patient is in fair condition, and 1 has been discharged.

UPDATE 7AM:  WASHINGTON (AP) — US military: 7 service members killed and at least 7 wounded in training exercise at Hawthorne Army Depot.  

The 7 marines were based out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. 

The identities of those killed will be provided 24 hours after primary next of kin notification.  The status of those injured will be provided as it becomes available.

More information will be provided as it becomes available.

UPDATE 6:00 a.m. - According to NBC, military officials say 6 Marines are dead and eight wounded after a mortar exploded during live-fire training exercises late Monday. 

UPDATE 5:45 a.m. - REMSA has confirmed 6 of the injured people have been Careflighted by REMSA and 2 more were taken by CalStar to local hospitals with unknown injuries.

UPDATE 3:15 a.m. : REMSA has confirmed three patients have been careflighted to Renown.

Their condition is still unknown. We will have exclusive footage on News 4 Today.

UPDATE 12:34a.m.: According to Russ Collier at the Hawthorne Army Depot, the explosion was a Marine Corp training exercise accident.

Collier says the accident did not have anything to do with ammo mission at Hawthorne Army Depot.

Collier says they are still working to gather more information.

UPDATE 12:04a.m.- News 4 has confirmed with REMSA that there was an explosion at the Hawthorne Army Depot just before 10p.m. on March 18th, 2013.

A REMSA spokesperson says two patients are on their way to Renown by Careflight. No word on the condition of the patients at this time.

Hawthorne, NV (KRNV & MyNews4.com) -- News 4 is on the way to a possible explosion at the Army Depot in Hawthorne, NV.

No other details are available at this time.

News 4 has attempted to confirm details with the Hawthorne Army Depot as well as the Mineral County Sheriff's Department, officials say they are still gathering information.

Stay with News 4 for the latest on this developing story.

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