Investigation Underway After Deadly Explosion at Gun Range Near - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Investigation Underway After Deadly Explosion at Gun Range Near Bend, Oregon

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Courtesy: KTVZ Courtesy: KTVZ

UPDATE: BEND, OR - One of the two men who died during an explosion in a World War II-era tank owned the vehicle and was an enthusiastic collector of military equipment.
 
Friends of 51-year-old Steven Todd Peterson say he bought the M18 Hellcat, which is technically a tank destroyer, several years ago and restored it.
 
Dennis Ripp, who is president of the Military Vehicle Collectors Club of Oregon, says he has known Peterson for at least 15 years.
 
Ripp says Peterson used the M18 for school fundraisers and other causes. He says Peterson had recently done a commercial with the tank and also has appeared with it on the Discovery Channel.
 
Ripp says Peterson had all of the legal paperwork needed for owning such a vehicle.
 
He says Peterson left behind a wife and two children.

The Deschutes County Sheriff also says a film crew was there at the time of the explosion and was getting video of the tank firing rounds, which could prove crucial as authorities investigate.

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Previous Coverage:

The Deschutes County Sheriff's Office says police and firefighters are on the scene of an explosion at a gun range east of Bend.

After arriving, deputies confirmed there were injuries resulting from an explosion inside a World War II era tank.

Bend Fire Department paramedics arrived and attempted lifesaving efforts; however, the two injured persons died from their injuries.

This is a joint investigation by the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office Detective Division and the Oregon State Police Arson and Explosives Section.

The Deschutes County Sheriff's Office is leading the investigation.

Further information including names will be released as appropriate by the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office.

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