Explosion kills EOD Marine on Okinawa
March 26, 2009
One Marine was killed and two others injured in an explosion Tuesday at a demolition range in the Central Training Area on Okinawa.
In a Marine statement released late Tuesday afternoon, a sailor was listed as "injured" and a Marine was listed as "seriously injured." No names were released pending notification of next of kin. The statement said all three were members of an explosive ordnance disposal team.
The explosion occurred about 11:15 a.m. in the training area located north of Camp Hansen.
The servicemembers were preparing unexploded ordnance for disposal, the release said.
Okinawa police Tuesday filed a request with the military for access to the site, a practice they follow after an explosion is heard coming from a military installation, a spokesman for Okinawa prefectural police headquarters said.
Okinawa police had not been allowed access to the site as of Tuesday evening, he said.
"There is no danger to the local community" and the incident is under investigation, the Marine release said.
Staff Sgt. Brian Griffin, a Marine spokesman, said no further information was available from the military.
The training area is used primarily by Marines, although the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force began training at one of the sites within the area last year as part of a bilateral agreement. The Central Training Area consists of 18,000 acres and includes several firing ranges and other training ranges.
Stars and Stripes reporter Chiyomi Sumida contributed to this story.