Marines had similar explosion at Fort Bragg two years ago

mquillin@newsobserver.comMarch 20, 2013 

Lejeune Marines nearly suffered a similar disaster in an accident two years ago at Fort Bragg.

Several hundred members of the 2nd Battalion of the 10th Marine Regiment were at Fort Bragg for annual artillery training in March 2011 when the incident happened. A group of Marines were firing an M777A2, a lightweight howitzer, on post around 8 p.m. on March 14 when a 155-mm round apparently exploded in the barrel of the weapon.

Eight Marines and two Navy personnel were injured in the blast. A Marine spokesman at the time said most of the injuries were shrapnel wounds and lacerations. The names and conditions of the injured were not released.

The Marines temporarily halted all live-firing following the incident.

The Marines said the explosion would be investigated. Officials would try to determine whether Marines had followed proper procedure, whether there was a problem with the round or if the weapon had malfunctioned.

However, findings of the investigation were not announced. A Marine Corps spokeswoman at Camp Lejeune said Tuesday she was unaware of the 2011 incident and referred questions to an investigative office on base. No one was available in that office, and a query to Marine Corps officials at the Pentagon was not immediately answered.

A Fort Bragg spokesman said Tuesday that members of the 10th Marine Regiment are back at the post now, training.

Quillin: 919-829-8989

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