Seven U.S. Marines were killed and seven wounded in an accident during a live fire training exercise at the Hawthorne Army Depot in Nevada, USA Today reported early Tuesday.
The report quoted defence officials as saying that initial findings showed that the incident occurred when a mortar exploded in its firing tube instead of flying out.
The blast took place at about 10 pm Monday at the base, which is located in a sparsely populated desert region some 225 kilometres south-east of Reno.
According to its website, the base is used for storing ammunition and stocks awaiting demilitarization and for providing high desert training facilities to military units.
"We send our prayers and condolences to the families of Marines involved in this tragic incident," Major General Raymond C Fox, the commanding general of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force, said. "We mourn their loss, and it is with heavy hearts we remember their courage and sacrifice."
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