PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — After a lengthy investigation, authorities still don’t know what caused a massive explosion that killed two men inside a vintage military tank.
A crew was filming the tank when the blast occurred last October near Bend, Oregon. Killed were 51-year-old Steven Preston and 22-year-old Austin Lee, both from Oregon City.
Preston was a military vehicle collector who owned the tank
Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel said Friday he consulted numerous experts in trying to decide whether the explosion was criminally negligent conduct or a tragic accident. He concluded that no crime was committed.
The Flying Heritage Collection museum in Everett, Washington, had commissioned a team to obtain slow-motion footage of the Hellcat tank firing projectiles. The footage was to be displayed at the museum.
Hummel said the operation was funded by the museum under the umbrella company Vulcan Productions, led by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.