3 Chicago men killed from explosion near Starved Rock

Illinois State Police are investigating after an explosion occurred near Starved Rock State Park Thursday night.

The three men who died after apparently igniting an explosive power near Starved Rock State Park were relatives from Chicago, the coroner’s office said Monday.

They have been identified as Immer Rivera Tejada, 39, Guillermo Rivera Tejada, 26 and Rafael Rivera Tejada, 36, according to LaSalle County Coroner Rich Ploch. He said the men were related but couldn’t provide specifics.

He said autopsy results were likely at least a few weeks from being released as investigators continue to investigate what caused the explosion along the Illinois River near the state park, about 75 miles southwest of Chicago.

Police say the incident occurred around 7 p.m. at the old IL Rt. 178 bridge.

Three men appeared to have been relaxing along the river, fishing, before igniting black powder that was in a hole, LaSalle County Coroner Rich Ploch said. There was no device, though black powder was the original gunpowder and can be used to make fireworks.


Authorities say this is an isolated incident and that the public should not be concerned.

The events surrounding the explosion remain under investigation. 

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact the Illinois State Police at (815) 726-6377. 

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.