HAWTHORNE, Nev. (AP) — A Veterans of Foreign Wars official says an eighth Marine has died after a mortar shell explosion during mountain warfare training in Nevada's high desert.

John Stroud, national junior vice commander in chief for the VWF, began a memorial event near the site of the blast by saying "one of the critical has passed."

Mourners then laid eight floral arrangements at a park near the Hawthorne Army Depot.

Stroud says he spoke with Marine officers who gave him the news before Tuesday night's ceremony. Messages left for a Marine spokesman were not immediately returned.

The explosion occurred Monday night at the sprawling facility during an exercise involving the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force from Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Several Marines from the unit were injured in the blast.

The identities of those killed won't be released until 24 hours after their families are notified.

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Few details are available about the training accident at a military depot in western Nevada last night that left seven Marines dead and injured several others. Officials initially characterized it as an explosion, without giving specifics.

The Marines were based at Camp LeJeune in North Carolina.

The injured have been taken to area hospitals for treatment and further evaluation. One trauma hospital in Reno took nine patients, including one who died. A spokeswoman says three are in serious condition and five are in fair condition. She says the injuries include penetrating trauma and fractures.

The Hawthorne Army Depot stores and disposes of ammunition, and serves as a key training facility for special forces headed overseas. It's held an important place in U.S. military history since World War II, when it became the staging area for ammunition, bombs and rockets for the war.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Marine Corps says seven Marines are dead and several are injured after a training accident at the Hawthorne Army Depot in Nevada. The cause of the accident shortly before 10 p.m. Monday is under investigation.

Officials said in a statement from the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp LeJeune, N.C., that the injured were taken to area hospitals for treatment and further evaluation. The depot is about 140 miles southeast of Reno.

The identities of those killed were not released pending notification of their families and a 24-hour waiting period after that. The Hawthorne Army Depot stores and disposes of ammunition. The facility is made up of hundreds of buildings spread over more than 230 square miles.