8th Marine dies after Nevada mortar explosion
Published: March 19, 2013 07:44PM
Updated: March 21, 2013 10:24AM
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FILE - This May 20, 2005 file photo shows storage bunkers at the U.S. Army Depot in Hawthorne, Nev. Seven Marines from a North Carolina unit were killed and several injured in a training accident at the Hawthorne Army Depot, the Marine Corps said Tuesday, March 19, 2013. The cause of the accident, that occurred shortly before 10 p.m. PST, Monday, March 18, is under investigation, officials said in a statement from the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp LeJeune, N.C. The Hawthorne Army Depot stores and disposes of ammunition. The facility is made up of hundreds of buildings spread over more than 230 square miles. (AP Photo/Joe Cavaretta, File)

Hawthorne, Nev. • A Veterans of Foreign Wars official says an eighth Marine has died after a mortar shell explosion during mountain warfare training in Nevada’s high desert.

John Stroud, national junior vice commander in chief for the VWF, began a memorial event near the site of the blast by saying “one of the critical has passed.”

Mourners then laid eight floral arrangements at a park near the Hawthorne Army Depot.

Stroud says he spoke with Marine officers who gave him the news before Tuesday night’s ceremony. Messages left for a Marine spokesman were not immediately returned.

The explosion occurred Monday night at the sprawling facility during an exercise involving the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force from Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Several Marines from the unit were injured in the blast.

The identities of those killed won’t be released until 24 hours after their families are notified.