HAWTHORNE, Nev. (AP) — Military officials say a mortar shell explosion has killed seven Marines and injured a half-dozen more during a training exercise in Nevada’s high desert.
The accident prompted the Marine Corps to immediately halt use of some mortar shells until an investigation can determine its safety.
The Corps said in a statement that it suspended all use of high-explosive and illumination mortar rounds that were in the same manufacturing lots as the ones that were fired in Nevada. Other 60mm mortar rounds were still allowed to be used.
The Marines were also considering a stop-usage order affecting the mortar tubes like the ones in the accident.
The mortar is a weapon that traditionally requires three to four Marines to operate, but it’s common during training for others to observe nearby.