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September 30, 2018

Three killed in car blast in Allentown; autopsies due Monday

A car explosion rocked downtown Allentown on Saturday night, leaving three people dead.

The dead, including the likely “perpetrator,” were all male, officials said Sunday as federal authorities investigating the incident are hoping autopsies will provide more information, the Associated Press reported.

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“We know there’s been a criminal incident,” District Attorney James Martin told reporters at a news conference Sunday. “We have a high degree of confidence that the perpetrator was probably killed in the incident.”

Authorities did not say anything about a possible cause, including whether a bomb was involved, reported the news outlet, indicating that Martin believed it was isolated incident with no continuing threat.”

The Morning Call of Allentown reported that resident Carlos Perodin was watching a movie with his wife when he heard a thunderous explosion and headed to the scene.

“The fire was crazy,” he said. “The car was pretty much split in half.”

Another witness to the aftermath of the explosion, Stephanie Connelly, told newspaper that body parts were strewn across the street. “This is real life and I’m shaking and freaking out while I’m running,” she said.

Autopsies were planned Monday, Lehigh County Coroner Scott Grim said Sunday afternoon, noting he would probably be able to release the names Monday once identities are confirmed and families notified.

Authorities are asking the public to share any clues or information withe the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which is leading the investigation.

The blast occurred a block from the PPL Center sports arena and two blocks from the popular Hamilton Street dining area in Allentown.