Two U.S. Marines were critically injured Sunday in what military officials describe as a ground flash fire on U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Miramar near San Diego.
The blast occurred on base at 10:18 p.m. as the Marines were performing routine maintenance on an F/A 18 fighter jet, said Major Kurt Stahl, the director of public affairs for the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, MCAS Miramar.
"Technically, this was a 'ground flash fire' rather than an 'explosion,'" Stahl added. "The cause is under investigation."
The two injured Marines suffered severe burns and were transported to UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest.
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They were identified as members of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 112 (VMDA-112), a reserve unit based out of Fort Worth, Texas.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends these two Marines as they go through this difficult time. The Marine Corps stands ready to support them in every way we can," Major Andrew Aranda from Marine Corps Forces Reserve told NBC 7.
No other information was available.
The National Fire Protection Association defines a ground flash fire as one involving fuel in the air and an ignition source. The fires tend to last just seconds but can reach intensely high temperatures.