The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) explained the botched explosion in South L.A. that was meant to be a controlled detonation of dangerous fireworks.
Of the roughly 5,000 pounds of fireworks that were confiscated, 10 pounds of homemade devices were placed in the LAPD Bomb Squad’s blast-resistant vessel, according to LAPD. The fireworks were analyzed with x-ray machinery and a mechanical arm that cut through the devices, with the bomb technicians deeming them too dangerous to transport.
“Clearly what happened here was a failure,” LAPD Chief Michel Moore said of the operation. “We’re trying to find out why.”
While it is still unknown what caused the explosion to erupt outside of the bomb squad’s vessel, authorities have confirmed 17 suffered non-life threatening injuries from the blast, including nine officers, while nine families were displaced from their homes.
“We’re working very fast to make sure they have housing for tonight and the next several nights,” Los Angeles City Councilman Curren Price said in a press conference Wednesday.
Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Ralph Terrazas confirmed that the extent of injuries suffered were cuts, scrapes, ear-ringing and dizziness and all were transported to local hospitals.
LAPD Chief Michel Moore said the steps and protocols taken by the bomb technicians will be reviewed as the incident continues to be investigated.
“This will be a full, complete and comprehensive review from the very top to the very bottom of every step taken and every component,” Moore said. “We have to look at how has the service of that vehicle been? What’s the age of the vessel? Is there anything from an engineering standpoint that that rating was no longer effective?”
Local residents are being asked to contact LAPD if remnants or debris from the explosion are found in their homes.