Six U.S. Marines were killed and eight wounded during a training exercise on Monday night when a mortar round exploded inside a tube, NBC News reports.
The Marines were conducting live-fire training exercise 60 mm mortars at Hawthorne Army Depot in in the Nevada desert.
60 mm mortars can fire a number of rounds — including those containing smoke, illumination, and high explosive — out to almost 4,000 yards.
It’s possible that a misfire occurred and the Marines were attempting to clear a round. When a round does not fire, the routine is to wait for about a minute, then cautiously lift the barrel while another Marine “catches” the round as it comes out of the tube.
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