The testimony from a man severely injured by an explosion at a New River ranch will likely prove crucial to discovering the blast's origin, investigators said Tuesday.
Steven Lane, 49, lost his left foot and right eye in the blast, according to Chelsie Garner, who heard the explosion along with her boyfriend, Jordan Perrin.
A Maricopa County sheriff's spokesman said the pair had no legal right to be on the property.
"At this point, all three people on the property from yesterday (Monday) are being treated as investigative leads at this point to determine exactly what they were doing on property basically to see if the story they are going to tell us matches what bomb detectives discovered on scene," said MCSO deputy Joaquin Enriquez.
Garner and Perrin said they were in the process of moving out but authorities stated the house had no running water or lights and that the home was vacant for about six months.
Bomb detectives said the explosive went off on a berm behind the home and that the initial call to 911 referenced a refrigerator hurting someone, but once on scene the reality was a different one.
"He lost part, a partial part of his left leg," Enriquez said. "Let's just say that his injuries are no longer life-threatening."
"This device, this explosive was not inside the ground, it was not something that was in the ground," Enriquez said.
The home where the accident happened has a long history with Maricopa County Sheriff's deputies, ATF and FBI agents. In 1999 it was the center of a clean-up battle after hundreds of munitions were found.
The question today, was the explosive that went off left behind from the clean up from 13 years ago?
"It would be premature that this was something that was left 17 years ago by the previous owner," Enriquez said. "At this time we are taking what we have now and assessing what we have."
Bomb detectives said the device went off outside the home and that no other devices have been found.
By late Tuesday, they had yet to make entry into the home and check what is inside.
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UPDATENew River explosion victim could hold key to blast's originMore>>
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Friday, August 29 2014 6:57 PM EDT2014-08-29 22:57:37 GMT
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