Car bomb suspected in I-75 explosion

The car burst into flames in the middle of busy traffic. / Courtesy Monroe Evening News

A spokesperson for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms confirmed that the car explosion just off I-75 on Tuesday evening "was definitely a bomb." The spokesperson called it a "heinous crime" and said the three victims were "lucky be alive."

He would not say if there were suspects at this time but said the victim, Sylvania attorney Erik G. Chappell, was cooperating with the investigation.

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At 5:41 p.m., Monroe Police and the Fire Department responded to reports of the explosion on East Elm Avenue near I-75. Michigan State Police confirmed that three occupants were transported to a Toledo hospital in serious condition.

Lyden, Liebenthal & Chappell law firm in Sylvania confirmed that the victims were Chappell and his two children. The firm's website lists Chappell as the Managing Member of the litigation department.

The Monroe News reports Chappell is involved in a high-profile case involving hot dog stand owners who sued the city in 2009 after they were banned from operating their carts.

The ATF is offering an award of up to $10,000 for the arrest and conviction and urge anyone with information to contact 1-800-ATF-BOMB.