At least one Marine is dead and eight are apparently missing after a training accident Thursday off the California coast.
Two Marines who were involved in the accident are reported to be in critical and stable conditions as a rescue operation is underway.
What are the details?
A release on the incident said that 15 Marines and one sailor were inside an amphibious assault vehicle off the coast of Southern California on Thursday when a “mishap” occurred during a training exercise.
The release explained that the Marines and the sailor were inside the vehicle when it reportedly began taking on water around 6 p.m. local time.
The name of the deceased Marine is being withheld for 24 hours so that the family can be informed, NBC News reported. He was pronounced dead Thursday at a hospital in San Diego.
A statement on the accident, sent via I Marine Expeditionary Force’s Twitter, read, “1 Marine has died, 8 service members remain missing and 2 were injured after an AAV mishap July 30 off the coast of Southern California. All are assigned to the 15th MEU. Search and rescue efforts are still underway with support from the Navy and Coast Guard.”
‘Keep our Marines, Sailors, and their families in your prayers’
Col. Christopher Bronzi, who is commanding officer for the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, released a statement of his own following Thursday’s tragic news.
“We are deeply saddened by this tragic incident,” Bronzi said of the accident. “I ask that you keep our Marines, Sailors, and their families in your prayers as we continue our search.”
CNN reports that all of the service members involved in the incident are assigned to the 15th MEU based out of Camp Pendleton in California.
The most common AAV used by the Marine Corps is the AAV-P7/A1. The vehicle transfers troops from water to land.
Newsweek reports that 15th MEU is comprised of about 2,200 service members who are assigned to “rapid-response, conventional amphibious, and other maritime operations.”
This is a developing story and will be updated as events warrant.