4 Marines Killed in Training Operation at Camp Pendleton

Four Marines were killed Wednesday during an operation on a shooting range at Camp Pendleton, the military said.

The deadly accident happened at 11 a.m. during a “range maintenance operation” in the Zulu impact area located in the center of the base,” the Marine Corps said.  The Marines were clearing the range of unexploded ordnance, and it was not a live firing range, a Marine official said.

Range maintenance operations, “could be everything necessary to keep the range clear and safe to use, in an area where we fire artillery and drop bombs from aircraft,” 1st Lt. Ryan Finnegan, a base spokesman told the San Diego Union Tribune.

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USMC Photo

Specific details on the accident were not immediately available.

“We offer our heartfelt prayers and condolences to the families of the Marines lost today in this tragic accident. Our first priority is to provide the families with the support they need during this difficult time,” Brig. Gen. John W. Bullard, commanding general of Camp Pendleton, said in a statement.

All of the victims were Marines stationed at Camp Pendleton, the Marines told Fox 5 News in San Diego.

Their names were not immediately released pending notification of family members.

The deaths come eight months after a mortar explosion killed seven Marines in Nevada.

An investigation blamed human error for that incident.

CNN contributed to this report.