Three people were killed in an “intentional” car explosion in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Saturday night, officials confirmed.
The vehicle exploded on the 700 block of West Turner Street near North Hall Street around 9:30 p.m. Three men died in the blast. Officials have not yet revealed their identities though they also say there’s a “high degree of confidence” that the perpetrator was killed in the blast.
One neighbor told NBC10 that his entire apartment building shook after the explosion. Another said it sounded like fireworks going off in the street.
“We heard a big blast and we ran out to our balcony to see if we could see anything,” neighbor Jonathan Pack said. “My gut reaction was bomb.”
Mike Hunter, another witness, was about a block away from the blast when he heard the explosion.
“People were yelling. People were running,” Hunter said. “People were scared.”
Hunter grabbed his cellphone and recorded the aftermath. The video shows a car engulfed in flames, as well as what appears to be body parts on the ground.
“I’ve never seen anything like that before,” Hunter said. “I’ve only seen things like that on TV.”
Police initially reported at least two people were injured. Shortly after midnight, ATF officials confirmed that one person had died. During a press conference at 4 p.m., officials confirmed three men in all died. They also said the incident was isolated and there’s currently no threat to the public.
Dozens of ATF agents responded to the scene, which they said appeared to be a “criminal matter.” County, state and federal officials are also involved in the ongoing investigation. Local residents were advised to avoid the area and find alternate routes around the crime scene.
A shelter was set up for residents who are being kept out of their homes due to the investigation, which officials say could last for days.
On Facebook, Allentown Councilman Courtney A. Robinson expressed sympathy for the victims and the community at large, and warned that “this will be a complicated investigation and it will take time until we know what happened.”
Neighbors, meanwhile, described a confusing and terrifying scene moments after the blast tore through the area.
“As soon as I turned around I heard a big boom,” Desiree Guth, a witness, said. “I saw the car on fire. I saw a leg by the car and I ran away.”
The FBI, ATF and Allentown police continue to investigate. If you have any information on the incident, please call 1-888-ATF-BOMB.
This story is developing. Check back for updates.
Source: NBC San Diego