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Coroner: Man takes own life in explosion

on March 20, 2013 10:40 AM

PATTON (AP) -- A man blew himself up inside a truck outside a Cambria County home Tuesday, injuring two other people, one of them critically, authorities said.

Cambria County Coroner Dennis Kwiatkowski ruled the death of Brad Kollar, 40, a suicide resulting from blunt force trauma after the blast shortly before 9 a.m.

He said William Shaner, 44, who is listed as the owner of the Clearfield Township home, was taken to Altoona Regional hospital and later flown to Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, where he was listed in critical condition. Another man was listed in stable condition at the Altoona hospital.

Police and other investigators originally believed a methamphetamine lab might be to blame for the blast not far from Route 36, near Patton.

Trooper John Matchik told reporters at the scene that investigators called the agency's Hazardous Device and Explosive Squad from Harrisburg to sift through a large area of debris to determine what leveled the home down to its foundation.

Police are in the process of speaking with the hospitalized men, Matchik said.

"We are following up with information and conducting things very, very methodically," he told The (Altoona) Mirror. "We want to make sure we don't overlook anything."

Shaner's father, William, 72, of Auburndale, Fla., told The Associated Press that friends and family had told him about the explosion, and he planned to travel to Pennsylvania later Tuesday, but he didn't know precisely what happened or who was injured.

A news conference was scheduled for this morning at the state police barracks in Ebensburg.

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