The Marine Corps has identified the four Camp Pendleton Marines killed in an explosion during a training exercise on Wednesday as;
- Staff Sgt. Mathew R. Marsh, 28, of Long Beach, Calif.;
- Gunnery Sgt. Gregory J. Mullins, 31, of Bayou L’Ourse, La.;
- Sgt. Miguel Ortiz, 27, of Vista, Calif.;
- Staff Sgt. Eric W. Summers, 32, of Poplar Bluff, Mo.
There has been no further information released on the cause of the accident which was still under investigation.
The Marines were clearing a field of unexploded ordinance – a routine but dangerous practice in which undetonated bombs and mortars are cleared from the area. No live-fire exercise was underway at the time of the incident on Wednesday, the Marine Corps said.
“We offer our heartfelt prayers and condolences to the families of the Marines lost today in this tragic accident,” Brig. Gen. John W. Bullard, commanding general of Marine Corps Installation West-Camp Pendleton, said in a statement. “Our first priority is to provide the families with the support they need during this difficult time.”
Thirteen Marines have died at Camp Pendleton since 2004, though not on the field where the four Marines were killed Wednesday.