Four Marines killed in accident at Camp Pendleton - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Four Marines killed in accident at Camp Pendleton

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SAN DIEGO (AP/CBS8) — Four Marines were killed Wednesday in an accident at Camp Pendleton, base officials said.

The accident happened at 11 a.m. during a range maintenance operation at the San Diego County coastal base.

The Marines were clearing the range of unexploded ordnance, and it was not a live firing range, a Marine official said. No further details were released.

CBS News national security correspondent David Martin has learned the four marines had been clearing the range of unexploded ordnance when a detonation occurred, claiming their lives.

Base officials say no one else was injured in the accident.

In the meantime, explosives training is continuing as previously scheduled on another nearby range on base.

Wednesday's accident comes just eight months after seven marines were killed in a mortar explosion during a live fire training exercise in Nevada.

A military investigation determined human error was to blame for that accident. According to the probe's findings, 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 investigation also determined that the mortar team involved in the accident had not conducted "appropriate preparatory training."

The identities of the dead in Wednesday's accident were withheld pending notification of relatives.

"We offer our heartfelt prayers and condolences to the families of the Marines lost today in this tragic accident," said Brig. Gen. John W. Bullard, commanding general of Marine Corps Installations West at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. "Our first priority is to provide the families with the support they need during this difficult time."

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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