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Dynamite explosion in Box Elder County kills rancher


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BOX ELDER COUNTY -- A rancher in Box Elder County who was trying to get rid of dynamite he found in a shed has passed away from his injuries.

Neighbors say Brent Larsen found the dynamite in his shed and was worried about it going off, especially with his grandchildren around.

He took it out of the shed Friday morning, but for some reason the dynamite exploded, sending shrapnel into Larsen's face.

Medical teams rushed to his Promontory home, but his injuries were so severe a medical helicopter was called to fly him to the hospital.

One of the first medical teams on the scene reported Larsen may have shot his gun at the dynamite to make it go off, but that's something the Box Elder County Sheriff's Office is still looking into.

Chief Deputy Kevin Potter said, "We don't know what caused the explosion, whether the dynamite was his or whatever, that's yet to be determined."

Investigators spent several hours in Larsen's field and shed looking for any sticks of dynamite that could still go off.

"The problem with old dynamite is that it starts to sweat, and once it starts doing that, it's in a very unstable condition, and it can go anytime," Potter said.

He added, "We need them to clear the area and make sure there's no other explosives before we finish the investigation, or really even get started investigating."

Larsen served as a leader in his LDS congregation and is well-known and liked by his neighbors.

Promontory resident Winnie Richman said, "Brent is a wonderful, kind, warm-hearted, spiritual person."

"He was always willing to help, would lend a helping hand to anyone anytime if you ever needed it," neighbor Pamela Wilson said.

The investigation is still continuing, but for that family this is a very tragic situation. It is the second death they are dealing with in the past couple of weeks. Last week, Larsen had to bury his own father who passed away.

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Story compiled with contributions from Alex Cabrero and Sarah Dallof.

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