CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (AP) - A military investigation has determined human error was to blame for a March mortar explosion that killed seven U.S. Marines in Nevada, including a former WNY native.
Lance Corporal Mason Vanderwork, 21, formally of Jamestown, was killed in a live-fire training exercise explosion in Nevada back in March.
Vanderwork was born in Jamestown, and lived there until he was four when he moved to North Carolina with his mother.
He had most recently been deployed to Afghanistan in 2011.
1st Lt. Oliver David, a spokesman at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, said in a press release Wednesday that a Marine operating a 60 mm mortar tube and ammunition "did not follow correct procedures, resulting in the detonation of a high explosive round at the mortar position."
The Marines did not release a copy of the investigative report and declined to provide any further details about the nature of the deadly mistake. Officials also would not say whether changes to training procedures were enacted as a result of the review.
Marine officials announced earlier this month that two officers and a non-commissioned officer were removed from command following the March 18 accident at Hawthorne Army Depot. Seven Marines and a sailor were also wounded.
ASSOCIATED PRESS / WGRZ