Could extra security measures have been put in place? HAWTHORNE, Nev. (AP) — Seven Marines from a North Carolina unit were killed when a 60mm mortar exploded unexpectedly at a Nevada military depot that's an important training facility for troops headed overseas, a Marine Corps official said.
The Marines immediately issued an indefinite moratorium on firing of all such mortars worldwide until an investigation clears as safe the type of weapon and ammunition in the tragedy. Several other Marines from the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp LeJeune, N.C., were hurt in the accident shortly before 10 p.m. PDT Monday at the Hawthorne Army Depot.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it was not immediately clear whether the mortar exploded prematurely inside its firing tube or whether more than a single round exploded. The official was not authorized to speak to a reporter about the accident.
The 60mm mortar is a weapon that traditionally requires three to four Marines to operate, but it's common during training for others to observe nearby.