Mortar round blamed for deaths in Hawthorne blast |

Back to: Local

Mortar round blamed for deaths in Hawthorne blast

U.S. Marine Corps photo

U.S. Marine Corps photo

A 60 mm mortar round that exploded in its tube caused the death of seven Marines and injured eight other service members in Hawthorne on Monday night.

“The Marines were conducting live fire and maneuver training at the Hawthorne Army Depot,” said 2nd Marine Division Brigadier Gen. Jim Lukeman at a news conference on Tuesday. “A (60mm) mortar round exploded in the mortar tube causing the deaths of seven and injuring (now eight) others. We don’t know yet what caused this malfunction.”

According to a statement issued on Tuesday evening, the incident occurred during a training exercise shortly before 10 p.m. Monday at Hawthorne Army Depot.

The injured were transported to Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno for treatment and further evaluation.

“We send our prayers and condolences to the families of the Marines and sailors who have been killed and injured in this tragic accident,” Lukeman said. “Our first priority is to provide them with the support they need during this very difficult time, and we’re doing that right now.”

The cause of the incident is under investigation, and more information will be provided as it becomes available.