San Diego

14 Marines, 1 Sailor Injured in Fiery Training Accident on Camp Pendleton: USMC

At the time of the incident, the service members were conducting a scheduled Combat Readiness Evaluation, a standard training for infantry Batallion

Fourteen U.S. Marines and one Navy Sailor seriously injured in a fiery training accident involving an Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV) on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton continue to receive medical care for their wounds, according to the Marine Corps.

The land-based training accident happened at approximately 9:33 a.m. Wednesday, 1st Marine Division public affairs officer 1st Lt. Paul Gainey said. Camp Pendleton is a U.S. Marine Corps base located north of San Diego; the base had more than 42,000 active duty personnel. 

At the time of the incident, the service members were conducting a scheduled Combat Readiness Evaluation, a standard training for infantry battallion, Gainey said. 

The AAV had an accident and caught fire, a Pendleton spokesman said. The vehicle is used to transport Marines from sea to land and has been used since the 1970s. 

The incident injured 14 Marines and one Sailor from 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment and 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion.

Eight service members were medically evacuated to the UC San Diego Health's Burn Center. Of those eight service members, three are in critical condition and five are in serious condition. 

Four other service members were taken to the University of California Irvine Medical Center. Three of those service members are in critical condition and one is in serious condition. 

One service member was taken to Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla and is in stable condition. 

Two service members were taken to Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton with minor injuries. 

Thursday, authorities said all service members are receiving medical care at the appropriate facilities. All next-of-kin have been notified. 

"The 1st Marine Division would like to thank the civilian and military emergency personnel who responded immediately to the situation, and we would also like to recognize the extraordinary efforts of all the medical personnel currently caring for our service members," a statement from the U.S. Marine Corps read. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the service members and their families affected by this accident."

The incident is just the latest in a string of accidents at the base, some fatal. 

Earlier this month, U.S. Marine Corps officials announced that another Marine had died during training at the base north of San Diego County. On Aug. 30, Private First Class Michael P. Giannattasio was found unresponsive during a land navigation training event with the Basic Reconnaissance Course, School of Infantry West, aboard Camp Pendleton. When medics arrived, they tried to resuscitate the Marine, but it was too late. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

In 2015, a Marine was discovered dead at a shooting range on the base; he was participating in a training exercise in which live ammunition was used. 

Several years ago, in Nov. 2013, four U.S. Marines were killed during a range maintenance operation.

Wednesday's accident remains under investigation. 

No other information was available.

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