A propane gas explosion damaged several residences in a housing unit for a U.S. Marine Corps training base in northern California, killing one person and injuring two others, an official said Saturday.The blast around 9 p.m. PST Friday in Coleville damaged seven residences, forcing the temporary evacuation of 38 families, Marine spokesman Capt. Nicholas Mannweiler said.
The privatized military housing area in Colville is about 30 miles from the U.S. Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center near Bridgeport, where the Marines train for mountain operations. Mannweiler, the public affairs director for the base, said the two injured were rushed to area hospitals suffering from serious burns and shock. He did not have further details. Some others had superficial cuts and bruises.
He said “two separate families were impacted” by the blast, but he did not disclose any other information on the identities of the casualties. Officials had said earlier up to five people had been injured. “A propane gas leak ignited due to unknown causes,” Mannweiler said. He said it was related to the military housing area’s propane distribution system, and was not associated with activities at the Marine base. The blast is under investigation.
The families were evacuated mainly due to a lack of utilities and bad weather, Mannweiler said. They are staying with friends or at other homes in the off-base unit, made up of duplexes and stand-alone residences. The base fire department and Antelope Valley volunteer fire department put out the fire caused by the blast.
Located in the Sierra Nevada mountains near the Nevada border, the Mountain Warfare Training Center is one of the Marine’s most remote posts. The base conducts unit and individual training for action in mountainous, high altitude, and cold weather areas.
Article retrieved from the Associated Press on 4/4/12.