15 Marines have been injured after an amphibious assault vehicle bursts into flames
This story is developing.
Five of the 15 Marines injured Wednesday when their amphibious assault vehicle caught fire are in critical condition, Corps officials said.
The Marines are from 1st Battalion, 1st Marines and the 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion, said 1st Lt. Paul Gainey, a spokesman for the 1st Marine Division. They were conducting a combat readiness evaluation as part of a training exercise at Camp Pendleton, California, when the AAV burst into flames at 9:33 a.m. local time.
Eight of the Marines were sent to the Burn Center at University of California San Diego Health, where three are listed in critical condition and five are in serious condition, Gainey said in a news release.
Four other Marines were taken to the University of California Irvine Medical Center, where two of them are listed in critical condition and the other two are being treated for “an unknown medical condition,” he said.
Another Marine is listed in stable condition at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla, California; and two Marines are being treated for minor injuries at Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, Gainey said.
“The 1st Marine Division would like to thank the civilian and military emergency personnel who responded immediately to the situation and allowed the injured Marines to receive rapid care,” Gainey said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Marines and their families affected by this incident.”
Wednesday’s incident is the Marine Corps’ third major training accident in as many months: Three Marines were killed on Aug. 5 when an MV-22B Osprey crashed off Australia; and 15 Marines and one sailor were killed on July 10 when their KC-130T crashed in Mississippi.
The two fatal crashes led Marine Commandant Robert Neller on Aug. 12 to order all Marine squadrons to suspend flight operations for 24 hours. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., called the pause in flight operations, “the latest example of the readiness crisis that threatens to cripple the U.S. military’s advantage over our adversaries.