3 dead after black powder device explodes near Starved Rock State Park

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NORTH UTICA, Ill. (AP) — Authorities say three people have died after apparently igniting a “black powder substance” along a riverbank near a state park in northern Illinois.

First responders were called to an area west of the Starved Rock State Park boat ramp where they they discovered three dead males around 7:20 p.m. Thursday.

LaSalle County Coroner Rich Ploch says the three died from injuries they received in the explosion.

Black powder was the original gunpowder and can be used to make fireworks.

Autopsies are planned. The victims’ names haven’t been released.

The explosion occurred about 75 miles southwest of Chicago.

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