Update 3 | No conclusive evidence of homicide, police consider victim could have been carrying bomb

Man killed in bomb explosion identified as 56-year-old Martin Cachia, registered as a fisherman from Marsascala.

Picture: A photo of Martin Cachia from his Facebook profile. His daughter left a poignant message on his wall after his death.
Picture: A photo of Martin Cachia from his Facebook profile. His daughter left a poignant message on his wall after his death.
A gaping hole can be seen in the car where the victim was killed.
A gaping hole can be seen in the car where the victim was killed.
Police, bomb disposal unit on site where a car went up in flames this morning
Police, bomb disposal unit on site where a car went up in flames this morning
A man was killed after his car exploded in Marsaskala
A man was killed after his car exploded in Marsaskala
Investigators consider victim could have been carrying explosives

A man was killed this morning after his car went up in flames at around 9:15am at Triq il-Latmija on Marsascala’s bypass.

Identified as Martin Cachia, 56, forensic experts will carry out DNA tests to confirm the man’s identity whose body was severely burnt.

Informed sources said that the man was well-known to have been involved in criminal activities, namely drugs and usury. 

Photos from the scene of the crime
Photos from the scene of the crime
Photos from the scene of the crime
Photos from the scene of the crime
Photos from the scene of the crime
Photos from the scene of the crime
Photos from the scene of the crime
Photos from the scene of the crime
Photos from the scene of the crime
Photos from the scene of the crime
Photos from the scene of the crime
Photos from the scene of the crime
Photos from the scene of the crime
Photos from the scene of the crime
Photos from the scene of the crime
Photos from the scene of the crime
Photos from the scene of the crime
Photos from the scene of the crime

He also faced a pending court case over the trafficking of 20 persons. Sources also told MaltaToday that Cachia had been probed over the illegal sale of diesel traded from Libya.

The car blew up after an explosive device went off. The driver lost control of the vehicle, which drove 100 metres before crashing into a nearby wall. The car appears to not have been registered in the victim's name.

Man killed in car bomb explosion

MaltaToday understands that investigations will also look into the possibility that the victim may have been carrying the bomb. An autopsy on Monday will determine the cause of death, and forensic tests will confirm the identity of the driver.

Assistant Commissioner Silvio Valletta told the press at a crime conference that police were not ruling anything out, but they could not conclusively say the death was a homicide due to the dynamics of the explosion. "What we have to establish is how the explosives got inside the car," he said.

The police said that from examinations being carried out on the vehicle, the device first exploded and then the rest of the car caught fire.

The persons closest to the victim have also been questioned. Police said that Cachia had a habit of taking walks in Marsascala, although he was not a resident of the seaside town.

Gaping hole inside car

A gaping hole was evident on the car’s floor, surrounding the driver’s area. This indicates that the explosive device was most likely inside the car when it went off.

An eyewitness recounted how, upon hearing the sound of an explosion, he rushed outside where he saw the red Alfa in flame. He realised that someone was inside the car after noticing blood on the road.

The eyewitness said a friend of his, who owns a water bowser, happened to pass by at the time of the incident. The fire was put out and the persons realised that a “burnt man was lying on the seat”.  Homicide inspector Keith Arnaud, forensic expert Mario Scerri, and the Armed Forces’ bomb disposal unit were on site. The Zabbar district police, RIU police and traffic police were also called in. 

Police, bomb disposal unit on site of Marsaskala explosion
A forklifter lifts up the car in which the victim was killed

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