One Marine is dead and 18 more servicemen are hurt following a rollover accident at Camp Pendleton, the third fatal accident at the base in the past couple of years.
An unspecified “vehicle rollover accident” happened about 2 p.m. Thursday afternoon, KTLA reported. The incident occurred during routine training exercises, injuring almost 20 servicemen, a spokeswoman said.
The individual killed was assigned to the 1st Marine Division. It was not clear whether the other Marines were with the 1st Divison or not. The type of vehicle involved was also not released to media.
The Corps are releasing very little information about the rollover and are withholding the name of the dead serviceman for at least 24 hours. Right now, its priority is with the victims’ families, 1st Mar. Div public affairs officer 1st Lt. Colleen McFadden told NBC San Diego.
“The command’s priorities are to take care of the Marines, Sailors and families of the unit. We want to ensure the Marines and their family members are being provided for during this difficult time.”
According to the San Diego Union Tribune, several people were taken to nearby hospital Palomar Medical Center, which is a trauma center. Officials there declined to release information about how many patients from Camp Pendleton arrived, their conditions, or how severe their injuries were.
A spokesman with the North County Fire Protection district told the newspaper that it transported two people to a base hospital via ambulance. Their injuries weren’t life-threatening.
The incident occurred on Basilone Road, which is now closed. An investigation has been launched, and no further details on the circumstances of the accident have been released.
An investigation in the rollover at Camp Pendleton has begun.
According to the Associated Press, Camp Pendleton is the Corps’ major outpost on the West Coast; it’s located seaside, north of San Diego. The 1st Marine Division is a ground combat force, the Corps’ largest and oldest division.
Thursday’s rollover isn’t the first fatal accident at the base. In 2013, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Marines were killed during a range maintenance operation to dispose of an unexploded ordnance; four people died.
And just this year in January, two officers at Camp Pendleton were killed in a helicopter crash in Twentynine Palms.
Also this year, two airmen died in a free fall in August at Elgin Air Force based in Florida. Earlier this month, a Marine was killed when a helicopter landed too hard during training exercises at Camp Lejune.
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