FBI investigating after car explosion kills 3 in Allentown

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP/WTXF) - Federal and local authorities are investigating after a car explosion in Allentown, Pennsylvania, claimed the lives of three people.

Assistant Police Chief Gail Struss said early Sunday that the blast happened on on North Hall and West Turner streets around 9:30 p.m. Saturday.

Autopsies are slated for Monday. The names of the three men killed will be released once their identities are confirmed and their families are notified.

Residents were asked to avoid the area following the blast, and people who live nearby were asked to shelter in place.

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

Authorities released no information about the possible cause of the blast, but Martin said "loads of us in law enforcement" are confident "this was A. an isolated incident and B. there's no continuing threat."

"It looked like Baghdad for a second," said eye witness Mike Hunter. "It was a frightening moment. It was like legs over there, a leg over there, a hand over there and before you know, cops all over us," Hunter added.

The Red Cross set up a shelter at Cleveland Elementary School to assist families impacted by evacuations.

City, state and Lehigh County authorities are investigating along with the FBI and federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Anyone with information concerning the blast is urged to contact the FBI at 215-418-4000 or online.