Update One: LaSalle County Coroner Rich Ploch says the explosion Thursday night near Utica was likely the result of an accident and not any criminal activity. Ploch says he expects identification of the three men who were killed, and notification of their families, to take longer than normal as they are not from the area. Ploch also says identification will be challenging due to the nature of the injuries that killed the three men. Ploch did confirm that the men were adults although he is not yet sure on their exact ages.
Original story: The LaSalle County Coroner's Office says three men were killed in an explosion west of the Route 178 Bridge along the Illinois River near Utica Thursday evening. It was determined that the men appeared to have ignited a black powder substance along the river. Authorities say the explosion was not related to the demolition of the old Route 178 bridge. Autopsies are set to take place Friday. Police haven't said why the men ignited the black powder substance.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.