Header Ads

Seventeen people injured as 'controlled' detonation of illegal fireworks by police in middle of Los Angeles neighborhood goes horrifically wrong

 Seventeen people have been injured in Los Angeles after a cache of homemade fireworks exploded as it was being destroyed by a bomb squad, damaging cars and smashing windows in homes.   

Police called in a bomb squad on Wednesday evening after a tip led them to seize some 5,000 pounds of illegal home-made and China-manufactured pyrotechnics at about noon, police said. 

LAPD Chief Michel Moore said three box trucks and a 53-foot trailer were brought in to load up the fireworks and move them to a safe location. However, 'improvised explosives' also were found that were too dangerous to move.

He described them as 40 home-made devices the size of Coca-Cola cans with simple fuses and 200 smaller but similar devices.

The material was taken to a 'total containment vehicle,' Moore said. The multi-ton semi-tractor trailer rig has a spherical iron chamber that is designed to safely detonate explosives.

Moore said less than 10 pounds of material was placed in the chamber, far less than its safety rating.  

The truck prior to the explosion
The blast which destroyed the truck

Seventeen people have been injured in Los Angeles after a cache of homemade fireworks exploded as it was being destroyed by a bomb squad, damaging cars and smashing windows in homes 

'Controlled' detonation of illegal fireworks by police goes wrong
Loaded: 0%
Progress: 0%
0:00
Previous
Play
Skip
Mute
Current Time0:00
/
Duration Time0:16
Fullscreen
Need Text
The LAPD initially said the cause of the explosion was unknown, but later confirmed that it had occurred as the bomb squad was detonating the explosives in the vehicle

The LAPD initially said the cause of the explosion was unknown, but later confirmed that it had occurred as the bomb squad was detonating the explosives in the vehicle

The wreckage of the truck is seen behind a police cordon on Wednesday night

The wreckage of the truck is seen behind a police cordon on Wednesday night

The LAPD initially said the cause of the explosion, which happened on the 700 block of East 27th street, was unknown, but later confirmed that it had occurred as the bomb squad was detonating the explosives in the vehicle.

'This vessel should have been able to safely dispose of that material,' LAPD Chief Michel Moore said at a press conference on Wednesday night.

'And you saw the resulting damage, and the total catastrophic failure of that containment vehicle,' Moore said.     

'Something happened in that containment vehicle that should not have happened, and we don't know why,' Moore said. 'But we intend to find out why.'  

The blast, caught by news crews, happened in a residential area. It knocked a nearby car on its side, smashed the windows of several others and blew out windows in a neighboring home.  

One news helicopter pilot said the blast shook his aircraft, and some residents two blocks away say they were jolted by the explosion.

Nine police officers were injured, along with one ATF officer, the Los Angeles Fire Department said in a statement.

Six civilians, ranging from 51 to 85 years old, were taken to a hospital, three with moderate and three with minor injuries, it said. One other person was treated at the scene but declined to be taken to hospital. 

None of the injuries were life threatening.   

The blast, caught by news crews, happened in a residential area. It knocked a nearby car on its side, smashed the windows of several others and blew out windows in a neighboring home

The blast, caught by news crews, happened in a residential area. It knocked a nearby car on its side, smashed the windows of several others and blew out windows in a neighboring home

The explosion happened on the 700 block of East 27th street in the historic South-Central area of Los Angeles

The explosion happened on the 700 block of East 27th street in the historic South-Central area of Los Angeles

Aftermath of truck blown up by illegal fireworks in Los Angeles
Loaded: 0%
Progress: 0%
0:00
Previous
Play
Skip
Mute
Current Time0:00
/
Duration Time1:29
Fullscreen
Need Text
Nine police officers were injured, along with one ATF officer, the Los Angeles Fire Department said in a statement. Six civilians, ranging from 51 to 85 years old, were taken to a hospital, three with moderate and three with minor injuries, it said. One other person was treated at the scene but declined to be taken to hospital

Nine police officers were injured, along with one ATF officer, the Los Angeles Fire Department said in a statement. Six civilians, ranging from 51 to 85 years old, were taken to a hospital, three with moderate and three with minor injuries, it said. One other person was treated at the scene but declined to be taken to hospital

Police evacuated nearby homes prior to the explosion and building inspectors were evaluating some homes to determine if they were safe

Police evacuated nearby homes prior to the explosion and building inspectors were evaluating some homes to determine if they were safe


LAPD chief Michel Moore (center with microphones) speaks to the press following the explosion on Wednesday

LAPD chief Michel Moore (center with microphones) speaks to the press following the explosion on Wednesday

Police evacuated nearby homes prior to the explosion and building inspectors were evaluating some homes to determine if they were safe.  

Arturo Cejas III, a 27-year-old man, was arrested on suspicion of possessing fireworks and destructive devices and also on suspicion of child endangerment because a minor, Cejas' 10-year-old brother, was found at the home. 

Cejas is accused of bringing the fireworks in from out of state to resell ahead of celebrations for July 4th. He is being held on $500,000 bail.

Some of the fireworks appeared to be large mortar-sized devices used for commercial purposes while others were described as improvised explosive devices.

Authorities said that it was fortunate no one had been killed in the blast and spoke about the dangers of illegal fireworks.

Moore said the ATF will also investigate the explosion, along with how the explosives were acquired and transported to Los Angeles. 

Resident Maria Velasquez, 39, told the LA Times that her family had been ordered to evacuate their home on Wednesday evening without being told why.

They went to a funeral viewing where Velasquez began receiving texts from panicked friends asking if she was OK and saying that there had been a car bomb in her area.

When the family returned, Velasquez said the gate to their home appeared to have been blown off and she was worried about the fate of her dog.

In March, a massive fireworks explosion left two people dead in Southern California and caused at least $3.2 million in damage.

Authorities said that it was fortunate no one had been killed in the blast and emphasized the dangers of illegal fireworks

Authorities said that it was fortunate no one had been killed in the blast and emphasized the dangers of illegal fireworks

Pictured: Glass litters the sidewalk outside a local business after its windows were blown out by the explosion

Pictured: Glass litters the sidewalk outside a local business after its windows were blown out by the explosion 

Arturo Cejas III, a 27-year-old man, 27-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of possessing fireworks and destructive devices and also on suspicion of child endangerment because a minor, Cejas' 10-year-old brother, was found at the home

Arturo Cejas III, a 27-year-old man, 27-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of possessing fireworks and destructive devices and also on suspicion of child endangerment because a minor, Cejas' 10-year-old brother, was found at the home

1 comment:

  1. 'This vessel should have been able to safely dispose of that material,' LAPD Chief Michel Moore said at a press conference on Wednesday night. SOMEONE DIDN'T DO THE MATH. IDIOTS...

    ReplyDelete