Authorities said on Sunday that three people died after a car exploded on Saturday night in downtown Allentown, Pennsylvania, including the likely perpetrator. However, authorities did not release any information about the cause of the blast, including whether it was a bomb. An autopsy has been scheduled for Monday.
District Attorney James Martin told reporters at a news conference on Sunday that they know that there has been a criminal incident and they have a high degree of confidence that the perpetrator was most likely killed in the incident.
Lehigh County Coroner Scott Grim said on Sunday that autopsies were planned on the three males who were found dead on Monday. The explosion happened on Saturday around 9:30 p.m. local time. He added that he would probably be able to release the names on Monday when their identities are confirmed and their families are notified.
The FBI and local authorities are assisting the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) which is taking the lead on the investigation. The FBI also said that it doesn’t believe there is a remaining threat to public safety.
Martin added that the people in law enforcement are confident this was an isolated incident and there’s no continuing threat.
The blast took place at a block from the PPL Center sports arena and two blocks from the Hamilton Street dining area in Allentown. Allentown is a city of about 120,000 and is about 60 miles northwest of Philadelphia. The block where the incident happened is a mixture of residences and small businesses, including a bar and a restaurant.
The residents were asked to avoid the area after the incident took place. A temporary shelter was set up at a nearby school to help the people. Authorities are also getting tips from the public to help solve the crime.
A witness, Antonia Santiago said that she heard a big explosion and ran to the window to see what it was but didn’t see anything initially but then later she saw the fire. She added that people couldn’t even get their cars out and the incident made her very nervous.
A resident Carlos Perodin told The Morning Call of Allentown that he was watching a movie with his wife when he heard the sound of a huge explosion. He said that he was shaking and freaking with fear after hearing the explosion.
The incident shook the nearby people but authorities have ensured that there is no further danger. and people should not panic.