Police Say Possible Car Bomb in PA was ‘Deliberate, Criminal Act’ – 3 Dead, Including a Baby [VID]

A car explosion in Allentown, Pennsylvania that killed three people was a “criminal incident,” according to authorities, as suspicions rise that it may have been a car bomb.

The explosion on Saturday night rocked a quiet neighborhood in downtown Allentown, and witness video posted to social media showed a sickening scene: a car split in two, with body pieces strewn about.

A news report on the explosion is featured below, and includes some of the witness video, with the graphic parts edited out.

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Local media outlets are now reporting that among the dead are a father and his toddler son are among the dead. The man’s relatives confirmed their deaths to reporters, but do not know who the third man in the car was. Authorities also believe the perpetrator was among the dead, but have not said if he was the father.

There is no ongoing danger to the public, authorities believe.

The Associated Press has more.

“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 released no information about the possible cause of Saturday night’s blast, including whether it was a bomb, but Martin said, “Loads of us in law enforcement” are confident “this was A. an isolated incident and B. there’s no continuing threat.”

Authorities are seeking the public’s help in getting clues and asked anyone with information to call 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, a city of about 120,000 about 60 miles (95 kilometers) northwest of Philadelphia. The block where it occurred is a mixture of residences and small businesses, including a restaurant and a bar.

Officials say three males were found dead after Saturday nights blast in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Lehigh County Coroner Scott Grim said he’ll wait to release the names after their identities are confirmed and their families notified. (Sept. 30)

The FBI, state police, and city and county authorities are investigating along with the ATF.

Resident Carlos Perodin told The Morning Call of Allentown that he was watching a movie with his wife when he heard a thunderous explosion and went 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 The Morning Call that she saw body parts 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 on the three males found dead after the 9:30 p.m. explosion, Lehigh County Coroner Scott Grim said Sunday afternoon. Grim said he would probably be able to release the names Monday once their identities are confirmed and their families are notified.

Authorities swarmed the area after the explosion. A bus station was turned into a makeshift command center with armored vehicles, dozens of police cruisers, mobile command units and even portable bathrooms, the paper reported. Several portable tents were also erected for evidence processing.

Residents were asked to avoid the area, and people who live nearby were asked to shelter in place. A shelter was set up at an elementary school.

The FBI had earlier said it was working with other agencies and “to assess the situation and determine the cause, with public safety the bureau’s highest priority.” Officials asked anyone who witnessed the blast or had information about it to contact investigators.

ABC News reports from the scene.

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