CAMP PENDLETON – At approximately 9:33 a.m. this morning an amphibious assault vehicle caught fire in a land-based training accident on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, injuring 15 Marines from 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment and 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion, reported 1st Lt. Paul Gainey, a spokesman for the USMC 1st Marine Division.
The Marines were conducting a combat readiness evaluation as part of scheduled battalion training at the time of the incident.
Eight Marines were medically evacuated to the Burn Center at University of California San Diego Health. Three Marines are in critical condition and five Marines are in serious condition.
Four Marines have been taken to the University of California Irvine Medical Center. Two Marines are in critical condition and two Marines are receiving medical treatment with an unknown medical condition.
One Marine has been taken to Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla and is in stable condition.
Two Marines are being treated at the Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton with minor injuries.
The amphibious landing vehicle involved in the incident was an Assault Amphibious Vehicle. An AAV is used to transport Marines from the sea to land, and has been used in operations since the 1970s.
The 1st Marine Division would like to thank the civilian and military emergency personnel who responded immediately to the situation and allowed the injured Marines to receive rapid care. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Marines and their families affected by this incident.
Officials are investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident at this time.