More on Aberdeen Super Pond Deaths
Memorials, investigation ensue after three fatalities at Aberdeen Proving Ground's underwater testing facility.
Although the "Super Pond" at Aberdeen Proving Ground has been closed for approximately two weeks, the activity around it has continued.
On Thursday, a community mourned the loss of two Navy divers who plunged to their death in the underwater testing facility, during a funeral in Virginia Beach, VA.
Approximately 400 people attended the funeral, according to a statement from the U.S. Navy. The two who died were Navy Diver 1st class James Reyher, 28, of Ohio and Navy Diver 2nd Class Ryan Harris, 23, of Missouri. Their unit was based in Virginia but conducting dive operations at Aberdeen when they died on Feb. 26.
On Wednesday, officials said they were wrapping up their investigation into the Jan. 30 death of engineering technician George Lazzaro Jr., 41, of Nottingham, according to WJZ.
Lazzaro was killed while performing underwater maintenance at the pond, Aberdeen Proving Ground officials reported. He left behind four children, and one of his friends is hosting a fundraiser on March 20 to help provide tuition money for them.
So far, the information gathered about Lazzaro's death is preliminary and will not be released for at least 120 days, a spokesman for the U.S. Army told The Aegis.
The three deaths—two on Feb. 26 and one on Jan. 30—were the first at the underwater testing facility, according to Aberdeen Proving Ground. The facility, which opened in 1995, is used for the military to test explosives and practice salvage missions.
"Until recently, it was one of the safest facilities we had on the installation," Major General Genaro Dellarocco told The Baltimore Sun.
As the commander of the testing facility, Dellarocco ordered the pond shut down on Feb. 26, and it will remain closed until all three death investigations are complete. An Aberdeen Proving Ground spokesperson told WJZ the process could take months.
According to the Navy Times, five separate agencies are involved in the investigations.
- UPDATE: Two Dead after Incident at APG Pond
- Navy Releases Names of Two Divers Killed at APG
- APG Super Pond Closed Following Deaths
- APG Super Pond Closed 'Indefinitely' After Deaths
- Friend Fund-Raising for Nottingham Man Who Died in APG Super Pond
- Officials Identify Diver Who Died in Super Pond
- Body Recovered from Aberdeen Proving Ground Pond
- What Went Wrong at APG's Super Pond? (The Baltimore Sun)