The incident occurred “after an AAV mishap July 30 off the coast of Southern California,” the Marine Expeditionary Force confirmed on July 31.
The statement confirmed “1 Marine has died, 8 service members remain missing and 2 were injured … All are assigned to the 15th MEU. Search and rescue efforts are still underway with support from the Navy and Coast Guard.”
Here’s what you need to know:
Colonel Christopher Bronzi, 15th MEU Commanding Officer, Said ‘We Are Deeply Saddened by This Tragic Incident’
Colonel Christopher Bronzi said on Twitter, “We are deeply saddened by this tragic incident. I ask that you keep our Marines, Sailors, and their families in your prayers as we continue our search.”
Lucas Tomlinson of Fox News said regarding the incident, “15 Marines and one sailor were inside the vehicle, 8 have been recovered. 2 Marines transported to local hospital, one in critical condition and the other in stable condition.
“The accident occurred during a ‘routine training exercise’ near San Clemente Island off the coast of Calif. between Los Angeles and San Diego.
“At 5:45 p.m. local Thursday, the Marines in the amphibious assault vehicle reported taking on water. The 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit and Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group were taking part in the training exercise where the accident occurred. Search and rescue efforts have been underway for more than 10 hours off coast of Calif. to find missing 8 service members. 4 warships, 4 helicopters as well as Coast Guard cutter aiding search.”
7 Marines Were Killed in a 2013 Explosion at the Hawthorne Army Depot
In March 2013, seven Marines were killed in an explosion, also during a training exercise, at the Hawthorne Army Depot in Nevada.
Fox News said the incident occurred “when a mortar exploded prematurely inside its firing tube.”
Seven Marines were killed and later an eighth died from injuries.
“Eight men were taken to a medical center with injuries, such as penetrating trauma and fractures. One of them died, five were in serious condition, one was in fair condition and another was discharged,” Fox News said.
The incident caused the Marine Corps to immediately stop using certain mortar shells until an investigation could be undertaken to determine their safety.
At the time, Russ Collier, an official at the facility, called the explosion “an accident.”
Taiwan News reported in July this year that two Taiwanese Marines were killed in a training exercise. The two died after a rubber boat capsized in stormy waters, throwing seven Marines overboard. A military investigation attributed the deaths to the poor conditions, the outlet said.
American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Brent Christensen attended the Taiwanese military funeral and paid his respects to Gunnery Sergeant Chen Chih-jung and Corporal Tsai Po-yu alongside Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.
More information will be posted as this story develops.
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