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Autopsy: 2 Navy divers drowned at Aberdeen test pond

Apr. 8, 2013 - 05:32PM   |  
The Maryland medical examiner's office says two Navy divers who died in a test pond at Aberdeen Proving Ground in February accidentally drowned.
The Maryland medical examiner's office says two Navy divers who died in a test pond at Aberdeen Proving Ground in February accidentally drowned. (U.S. Army via AP)
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HAGERSTOWN, Md. — Autopsies of two Navy divers who died in a test pond at Aberdeen Proving Ground in February have concluded they accidentally drowned, the Maryland Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said Monday.

That is the only autopsy information the agency has been authorized to release about any of the three divers who died earlier this year at the Army installation about 20 miles northeast of Baltimore, spokesman Bruce Goldfarb said.

Navy Diver 1st Class James Reyher of Caldwell, Ohio, and Navy Diver 2nd Class Ryan Harris of Gladstone, Mo., died Feb. 26 while working at an underwater weapons-testing facility called the Super Pond.

Their deaths and that of civilian engineering technician George Lazzaro Jr., remain under investigation by several military and civilian agencies. Lazzaro, 41, of Nottingham, died at the pond Jan. 30 while doing underwater maintenance.

Military officials closed the pond to all activities in late February pending the outcome of the investigations.

The Navy diver deaths are under investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the diver’s Virginia Beach, Va.-based unit, U.S. Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group 2.

Lazzaro’s death is under investigation by the Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center at Fort Rucker, Ala.; the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division; and the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

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