Three men died in downtown Allentown, Pennsylvania, after a car exploded on Saturday night. Authorities said on Sunday during a press conference that one among the three dead is likely to be the perpetrator, and names of all the deceased persons will be revealed on Monday after the scheduled autopsy.
An investigation is currently underway and authorities have not revealed further information related to the nature of the explosion.
The incident occurred on Saturday night at around 9 p.m. local time near the popular Hamilton Street dining area in Allentown, according to CBS News.
District Attorney James Martin told journalists during the press conference that the blast appears to be a criminal incident, the Associated Press reported.
The report also stated that authorities are urging the public to help them with the investigation, and inform the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives immediately if they have any clues or information related to the blast.
Shortly after the incident, fear gripped the city as residents heard the explosion even in far-away areas. Police promptly cordoned off the concerned area and advised people to take alternative routes. Public transportation detours were also announced.
Residents of Allentown took to social media in search of information related to the explosion and posted about their experiences. One person tweeted that she was only a block away when the blast occurred, while another Allentown resident posted a graphic video from the scene of the explosion. She triggered warning and wrote, “Allentown car explosion (NOT for faint of heart).”
Last night, I was 1 block away from a deliberate car explosion in Allentown. What a wonderful city
— Charissa (@x3chariissa) September 30, 2018
Another resident, who read different versions of the story circulating on social media concerning the nature of the blast, tweeted that Allentown was going through an apocalypse (because of the misinformation on the Internet).
Allentown is going through an apocalypse or something first a shoot out then a gas line explosion
— jan jan (@janetdaddy) September 30, 2018
Residents got even more panicked when 69 News reported that federal authorities and the bomb disposal squad converged on a second scene in Allentown, as witnessed by their photojournalist on Sunday afternoon.
The report quoted the authorities saying that there was no apparent connection between the gathering of the police on another site and Saturday night’s explosion.
After the incident, Allentown Councilman, Courtney Robinson posted a message on Facebook to express his sympathy for the victims and and the Allentown community at large, and warned that “it will be a complicated investigation and it will take time until we know what happened,” as reported by NBC4 Washington.
This story is developing and further information related to the incident will be revealed by the authorities on Monday.