10-21-2016  8:31 pm      •     
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MONROE, Mich. (AP) -- Investigators on Wednesday were poring over the blackened remains of a vehicle that exploded on a Michigan street, trying to determine if the blast, which seriously injured the man and two children inside, was caused by a bomb or some sort of mechanical failure.

Monroe police initially said they were investigating the Tuesday evening explosion as a possible car bombing. But police Lt. Charles Abel said later Wednesday the investigation was "being listed as a car fire with an explosion." He didn't discount that a bomb could have caused the blast.

Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were examining the wreck, and police said the agency would likely take the lead in the investigation. The ATF did not immediately respond to Wednesday phone requests seeking comment. Authorities were expected to hold a news conference later in the day.

The blast occurred on a tree-lined street under a highway in Monroe, which is about 35 miles southwest of Detroit. Television news footage showed that the vehicle had been turned into a charred shell. On Wednesday morning, the only sign of the fire at the scene was charred pavement where the vehicle burned.

Police said the only people injured were the three occupants, a man and two children, who were in serious condition at St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo, Ohio, which is about 20 miles south of Monroe. Police did not publicly identify the victims or the registered owner of the vehicle.

An FBI spokeswoman in Detroit referred questions to local police and the ATF. State police, which also assisted, referred questions to local police.

Monroe is a city of more than 20,000 that is one of Michigan's oldest communities. It has a historic downtown and is home to furniture maker La-Z-Boy Inc.


Associated Press writer David Runk in Detroit contributed to this report.

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