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Kelly & West News

Investigators Search for Cause of Blast Killing Seven Camp LeJeune Marines

Investigators are trying to determine who or what was responsible for the Nevada blast that killed seven Camp LeJeune marines and injured eight others on March 18.

The blast occurred when a mortar shell exploded while still in its tube, sending shrapnel into the young men. Hurt or killed in the explosion were men from the Second Marine Expeditionary Force from Camp LeJeune. Among the injured was a Navy corpsman from North Carolina.

The blast occurred at Hawthorne Army Depot in Hawthorne, Nevada.

One of those injured is a Fremont man, a Navy Corpsman, HM3 Ian S. McClanahan. He remains in very serious condition. He graduated from Charles B. Aycock High School in Pikeville in 2009. He also was a volunteer with the Fremont Volunteer Fire Department.

Another North Carolina young man, Lance Cpl. Mason J. Vanderwork, 21, of Hickory, was killed. Most of those injured or killed were in their early twenties. A total of eight men were injured and seven were killed.

U.S. and Marine officials said use of 60 mm mortars has been suspended until the cause of the accident is determined. After the investigation ends, the suspension will most likely be lifted. The suspension will not apply to the war efforts in Afghanistan.

Three to four marines are usually needed to operate the 60 mm mortar. During training exercises it is common for others to observe from nearby.

When the cause of the accident is determined, the relatives of those killed and the injured themselves may decide to sue the responsible party.

The lawyers at Kelly-West are especially well qualified to handle personal injury cases in North Carolina. Since 1982, when the office opened, the personal injury attorneys have assisted in more than 20,000 cases.

For a free telephone conversation about your personal injury situation, call (800) 936-3133 to speak with a lawyer. He or she will be able to tell you if you have grounds to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.

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