NEW INFO: Marines Say Human Error Caused Deadly Mortar Explosion

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

A military investigation has determined human error was to blame for a March mortar explosion that killed seven Camp Lejeune Marines in Nevada.

1st Lt. Oliver David, a spokesman at the base, said in a press release Wednesday that a Marine operating a 60 mm mortar tube and ammunition "did not follow correct procedures, resulting in the detonation of a high explosive round at the mortar position."

The Marines did not release a copy of the investigative report and declined to provide any further details about the nature of the deadly mistake. Officials also would not say whether changes to training procedures were enacted as a result of the review.

Marine officials announced earlier this month that the battalion commander, Lt. Col. Andrew McNulty, along with a company commander and the battalion's weapons officer were all relieved of command following the March 18 accident at Hawthorne Army Depot. Seven Marines and a sailor were also wounded.

Camp Lejeune says they do not anticipate any criminal charges being brought in the case.

The Marine Corps says their investigation also showed that the Marines had not conducted appropriate training leading up to the live-fire event.


Previous Story:

Marines told the Associated Press on Wednesday that human error was to blame in March mortar explosion that killed 7 Marines in Nevada.

Seven Marines from 1st battalion, 9th Marine regiment stationed at Camp Lejeune were killed after the blast at the Hawthorne Army Depot in Nevada on March 18th.

Camp Lejeune said in addition to the seven Marines killed, 8 other Marines were injured.

In May, three officers were relieved of their command after the training accident.


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