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Nevada explosion kills 7 Marines

Seven Marines were killed as the result of an explosion during a Marine Corps training exercise at Hawthorne Army Depot in western Nevada.

The Marines have released the names of the soldiers killed in an explosion at an Hawthorne Army depot in western Nevada earlier this week.

One of them, Cpl. Aaron Ripperda, is from downstate Madison, Illinois.

 

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The Marines have released the names of the men killed in an explosion at Hawthorne Army Depot in western Nevada earlier this week.

Cpl. Aaron Ripperda, 26, is from downstate Madison, Illinois.

Arron attended highland high school where he played sports, participated in theater and is remembered as a stand-out student.

Also killed in the explosion: David Fenn, Joshua Martino,  Joshua Taylor, Mason Vanderwork, Roger Muchnick and William Wild.

Eight other Marines were also injured when a mortar shell exploded during a live-fire training exercise.

The unit’s commanding officer says the shell detonated inside a mortar tube.

The mortar rounds and tubes have been pulled from service while an investigation continues.

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.

The cause of the incident is under investigation, the Marines said.

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

Very little was immediately known about what caused the explosion.

Lt. Col. Craig Short, Hawthorne’s deputy commander, said a traffic accident at the facility around 10 p.m. PT 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 is cordoned off as details emerge.

“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.

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