Three dead in Thursday night explosion on Illinois River



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LASALLE COUNTY (WEEK) — Three people are dead following a large explosion near Starved Rock State Park Thursday night.

Officials responded to the scene, along a sandy and flat section of the Illinois River near Utica.

“The individuals had ignited some type of a black powder,” LaSalle County Coroner Rich Ploch said.

Police called in the Kane County Bomb Squad and the FBI to assist in the investigation. The trio was on the sand at the time of the explosion.

“[The Bomb Squad and FBI] weren’t sure if it was just strictly powder or if it was some type of powder device,” Ploch said.

The Coroner says at least two of the three people were related and were from the Chicagoland area.

“This is tragic,” Ploch said. “It is emotional… The training kind of helps us get through that part for a little while.”

Autopsies on the bodies were scheduled for Friday.

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