New River explosion: Previous property owner Chuck Byers explains land history

NEW RIVER, AZ - ABC15 exclusively interviewed Chuck Byers, the previous owner of a property in New River where an explosion severely injured a man Monday night.

Police believe three people were trespassing on that remote property in New River when some sort of explosion happened.

One man lost his leg. He's still recovering at the hospital.

Byers owned the property back in the '90s where he used it to make and store munitions.

"Everything I had up there was locked up and exceeded government specifications. Instead of one steel door we had three steel doors, multiple locks. It was never a problem," said Byers.

Byers eventually sold the property and in 1999 federal agents discovered large quantities of explosives on the land.

"The state came in and cleaned everything up and did a pretty clean job. There was not a match they had left on the place," said Byers.

Byers believes whatever explosive blew up Monday night had no connection to the munitions he created while residing on the property. He said whatever blew up will provide authorities the answers they're looking for.

"If they knew what they were doing, they would be able to tell by whatever fragmentation was left, the size of the hole assuming that it was on the ground, and what it was that happened," said Byers.

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