SAN DIEGO Four U.S. Marines were killed on Wednesday in an accident while clearing a training area of obstructions at Camp Pendleton, just north of San Diego, California, a military spokesman said.
The marines were killed at the Zulu Impact Area in the interior part of the base, said Marines spokesman Lieutenant Ryan Finnegan. The cause of the accident was under investigation.
Finnegan could not confirm an NBC News report that the incident involved the detonation of unexploded ordnance, but did say the type of operation the marines were handling could involve ordnance disposal.
"We offer our heartfelt prayers and condolences to the families of the Marines lost today in this tragic accident," Brigadier General John W. Bullard, commanding general of the base, said in a statement.
"Our first priority is to provide the families with the support they need during this difficult time," Bullard said.
The military did not release ages or other details about the four marines killed.
(Reporting by Marty Graham in San Diego, writing by Alex Dobuzinskis; editing by Cynthia Johnston, G Crosse)