Pentagon Indefinitely Bans Use of 60 mm Mortar Ammo Following Deadly Marine Accident Pending Investigation

by Colonel on March 19, 2013

“The explosion occurred Monday night at the Hawthorne Army Depot, a facility used by troops heading overseas, during an exercise involving the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force from Camp Lejeune, N.C. Several Marines from the unit were injured in the blast, authorities said.

The Marines were practicing firing mortars, reports CBS affiliate KTVN-TV in Reno, when one of the rounds exploded while still inside the tube.

Brigadier General Jim Lukeman said investigators are trying to determine the cause of the malfunction.

The Pentagon expanded a temporary ban to prohibit the military from firing any 60mm mortar rounds until the results of the investigation. The Marine Corps said Tuesday a “blanket suspension” of 60mm mortars and associated firing tubes is in effect.

” — Copyright 2013 CBS Interactive Inc./The Associated Press

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