A man was killed and another dealt moderate to critical wounds on Tuesday night as the car they were driving in exploded in the coastal city of Ashdod.

The wounded man managed to free himself from the burning wreckage of the vehicle and received treatment by Magen David Adom (MDA) and United Hatzalah paramedics while still retaining fully consciousness.

Large police forces arrived at the scene; according to police sources the blast was likely an assassination tied to the criminal underworld rather than being a terror attack.

MDA paramedic Chaim Levin, who lives near the scene of the explosion, heard the blast and went downstairs to treat the wounded.

"I heard a strong explosion, I went to the window and saw the disfigured car, went downstairs quickly and then the car started to burn," said Levin. "From the car a man around 30 years old got out on his own, with burns on his limbs and shrapnel wounds. We gave him medical treatment and evacuated him in an emergency care mobile unit to the hospital."

The paramedic added "when it was possible to get close to the car we saw a man with no sign of life, and we were left with no choice but to pronounce his death."

There have been numerous attempts by those in the organized crime gangs to eliminate their rivals in recent months.

A BMW car belonging to a famous mobster exploded early last month in Netanya killing one man, although the crime boss himself was not in the vehicle at the time. Police assessed that it was likely an assassination attempt.

Another car exploded in Petah Tikva this February, with the remains of an explosive device found in the wreckage. The two occupants of the vehicle died, and four others in the area including a three-year-old girl were wounded by the flying debris.

Police suspected the blast was a criminal assassination or "work accident," in which criminals transporting explosives had their handiwork literally back-fire on them.