Police chief loses part of arm in fireworks accident

Leechburg Police Chief Michael Diebold, 39, was injured Saturday night when a mortar he was lighting during a fireworks show at a local carnival misfired and struck him.

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Diebold, who is licensend to handle pyrotechnics, was flown to UPMC Mercy Hospital’s trauma and burn unit and is now listed in stable condition.

The investigation into the incident is ongoing.

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City officials and residents gathered Sunday night at the town's fire hall for a prayer vigil for Diebold.

"I've always known him to be a good person, a hard worker and an officer who cares deeply and is committed to his community,” Captain Steve Ignatz said.

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A fundraiser for Diebold is underway to help pay for his hospital expenses. 

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