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Investigation into Deadly Wyoming County Blast

CLINTON TOWNSHIP -- UPDATE THURSDAY, FEB. 2 -- Investigators say a deadly explosion in Wyoming County Monday night was an accident but have not said what may have caused it.

The blast near Factoryville killed a longtime employee of the borough and was heard miles away.

State police and other investigators sifted through the charred pile of debris at the maintenance sheds near Factoryville one day after the explosion that rocked the area and took the life of a man who many say dedicated his life to the community.

The aftermath of that explosion could still be seen Tuesday at the maintenance sheds near Factoryville.

Officials say Steve Swift was on a skid steer tending to burning trash when something caused an explosion that was caught on security cameras. Investigators are looking at the video as they try to determine the cause.

Swift died in the explosion. The husband and father of two has worked for Factoryville borough in maintenance for 16 years

A state police fire marshal was on the scene Tuesday to investigate the deadly explosion, sifting through the charred pile of debris that included wood, discarded furniture, and more.

"We heard the explosion. I had a sense it came from the maintenance area and drove over that way," said Factoryville Mayor Gary Evans. "He's not really replaceable. We'll make do. He was a gem."

Mayor Evans tells Newswatch 16 that Swift, who went by "Swifty" was with the borough for 16 years. He handled maintenance of the sewer plant and so much more.

"Seven days a week, whatever the hours took," said Evans. "He was incredible."

"Everyone who lives here knew him. It's a tragedy. He will not be replaced. It will take two or three men to do the job he did every day. He was dedicated to everyone who lives here," said borough resident Missey Bower.

The piece of machinery Swift was using was taken away on a wrecker.

That explosion was so strong, it damaged metal siding on a nearby shed and was felt and seen miles away.

"I saw the sky turn bright orange," said Factoryville resident Angela Roote. "Wasn't sure what it was until I got home and saw the post and found out what happened."

State police are still investigating the cause of the deadly blast.

4 comments

  • Supporter of America

    Very sad and sympathy to the family. Everyone that I know that knew him personally say he was a good guy. Not sure why the police think it was anything other than a tragic accident? This update really isn’t much of an update though.

    • Roman

      Great, thanks for solving that. This man clearly had more class than you have answers. My condolences to the friends and family of this man.

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