Seven Killed in Explosion at Nevada Marine Training Exercise - KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

Seven Killed in Explosion at Nevada Marine Training Exercise

Posted: Updated:

(CNN) - Seven Marines were killed as the result of an explosion during a Marine Corps training exercise at Hawthorne Army Depot in western Nevada, the Marine Corps said Tuesday. Eight others were injured.

The cause of the blast was a 60 mm round that detonated inside a mortar tube, injuring the mortar crew and supporting personnel, a military official told CNN.

A representative of Nevada's Regional Emergency Medical Services Authority said four medical helicopters were sent to transport patients to hospitals.

Earlier, Lt. Col. Craig Short, Hawthorne's deputy commander, said a traffic accident at the facility around 10 p.m. was related to the blast, but he didn't explain what the connection was.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who represents Nevada, called it "quite a big explosion" and said the area of the blast was cordoned off as details emerged.

"We don't know exactly what happened, but it was a violent explosion, we know that," he said. "Our thoughts are with those who were injured and of course the families of those who lost loved ones."

The Hawthorne Army Depot, about 140 miles southeast of Reno, is used for storing ammunition and weapon stocks awaiting demilitarization. The facility also provides high desert training facilities for military units.

President Obama was immediately made aware of the incident, and the White House is monitoring the situation, spokesman Jay Carney said.

"We are obviously in the early stages of assessing the incident," he said. "It is a tragedy, clearly."

  • Texas State Aquarium In Running For National Honors

    Texas State Aquarium In Running For National Honors

    Thursday, July 24 2014 12:21 AM EDT2014-07-24 04:21:43 GMT
    The Texas State Aquarium have been nominated as a finalist to be named one of the Top Ten Aquariums in the US and Canada. It's all part of a readers choice contest by USA Today. If you would like to vote for the Texas State Aquarium click here.More >>
    The Texas State Aquarium have been nominated as a finalist to be named one of the Top Ten Aquariums in the US and Canada. It's all part of a readers choice contest by USA Today. If you would like to vote for the Texas State Aquarium click here.More >>
  • Online Petition Aimed At Saving Park

    Online Petition Aimed At Saving Park

    Thursday, July 24 2014 12:17 AM EDT2014-07-24 04:17:35 GMT
    A local man has started an online petition in hopes of keeping the city from selling a park in his neighborhood.More >>
    A local man has started an online petition in hopes of keeping the city from selling a park in his neighborhood.More >>
  • Special Report: Asleep at the Wheel

    Special Report: Asleep at the Wheel

    Thursday, July 24 2014 12:14 AM EDT2014-07-24 04:14:08 GMT
    Most people are aware of the dangers of drinking and driving, but may not realize that drowsy driving can be just as fatal. With more drivers on the road, words like sleepy, tired, exhausted, are taking on a whole new meaning when it comes to your safety.We talk with drivers, state troopers and driving instructors to examine what could be done to make our highways less dangerous in a 3News Special Report: Asleep at the Wheel.More >>
    Most people are aware of the dangers of drinking and driving, but may not realize that drowsy driving can be just as fatal. With more drivers on the road, words like sleepy, tired, exhausted, are taking on a whole new meaning when it comes to your safety.We talk with drivers, state troopers and driving instructors to examine what could be done to make our highways less dangerous in a 3News Special Report: Asleep at the Wheel.More >>