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One dead, 2 severely injured in explosion at Marine housing complex

February 4, 2012 |  4:33 am

One person was killed and two were severely burned in an explosion Friday night at a family housing complex for Marines stationed at the Mountain Warfare Training Center at Bridgeport, in Northern California.

Thirty-eight families had to be evacuated as the blast and fire ripped through the Lincoln Military Housing Neighborhood about 8:45 p.m., damaging seven homes.

The explosion was apparently caused by a propane leak, Marine officials said Saturday. Names of the dead and injured were not released.

The 111-unit housing complex is in Coleville, a Mono County community about 30 miles from the Bridgeport training facility.

Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents, as well as Marine Corps fire investigators, are assisting Cal-Fire and the Mono County authorities in assessing the damage and determining the cause of the explosion, which sent families fleeing into 15-degree weather.

The Bridgeport facility, which provides training in cold-weather and high-altitude combat techniques, sits on 46,000 acres of the Toiyabe National Forest, on the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada.

Marines and sailors preparing to deploy to Afghanistan are sent to Bridgeport for training. The facility is under the command of officials at the Marine base at Twentynine Palms.


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-- Tony Perry in San Diego