UTICA, Ill. (WMBD) — The LaSalle County Coroner released the identity of the three men who were killed in an explosion involving black powder.
Coroner Rich Ploch said 39-year-old Immer E. Rivera Tejada, 26-year-old Guillermo E. Rivera Tejada, and 36-year-old Rafael R. Rivera Tejada were found deceased along a bank of the Illinois River Thursday evening, May 6.
Ploch said the three men were from Chicago.
Police said early Thursday evening, they were dispatched to the area south and west of the Route 178 bridge along the river bank near Starved Rock after a reported explosion. After arriving, they found three men were killed due to injuries sustained from a blast.
Illinois State Police, Kane County Bomb Squad, and the FBI helped determine the men ignited the black powder substance along the river bank themselves.
Ploch said the men were relaxing while fishing along the Illinois River before the “black powder substance” was ignited in a hole. He theorized the men had either lit the powder for entertainment or they were trying to light a fire to cook food that was found nearby.
No other information has been released at this time.