Local News

Ten injured during artillery training at Fort Bragg

Posted March 15, 2011 9:27 a.m. EDT
Updated March 16, 2011 6:05 a.m. EDT

— Eight Marines and two Navy sailors received shrapnel wounds and deep cuts in an explosion at Fort Bragg Monday night while conducting an artillery live-fire exercise, according to Staff Sgt. Jayson Price.

Fort Bragg has not released the names of the Marines, who are with Camp Lejeune, nor the names of the sailors. Their conditions were also not available.

Two were taken to UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill, while the remaining eight were being treated at Womack Army Medical Center, Womack spokeswoman Shannon Lynch said. 

The units were firing 155mm ammunition, which can be associated with loud explosions and reverberations upon detonation. Fort Bragg is the closest military training area that can accept the 155mm weapons systems.

Price said the firing has stopped until officials deem it safe to resume training, but it's unclear when that might be.

The explosion happened around 8 p.m. Monday and was being investigated. No other information was released.

Fort Bragg Public Affairs Office Benjamin Abel said Tuesday that the base focuses on making training "as safe as possible without diminishing the realism."

"The training that ours soldiers (and Marines) undertake must be as realistic as we can make it, because the tasks that we ask of them are so dangerous," he said. "We have had in the recent past training incidents that have resulted in injuries, but as each incident is so different, it would be difficult to find parallels."

In June, a contractor was killed, and a second contractor and a soldier were wounded during a training exercise at Fort Bragg.

Soldiers on Range 77 were taking part in tactics to help prepare units for overseas missions when that incident occurred.