LAPD confiscates many different types of explosives. This time of year, one type of explosive they acquire a lot of is fireworks. The department planned to detonate the stash-however- things do not always go as planned.
According to LAPD Chief Michael Moore, the LAPD got a time earlier in the day that there was a huge stash of fireworks in a home in South Los Angeles. He said that officers went to verify the tip and found thousands of pounds of fireworks.
There were over 5,000 pounds of “commercial-grade fireworks” in the home. Arturo Cejas, 27, was arrested at the home.
According to KCAL, the bomb squad came in, and the technicians and investigators cleared the many pallets filled with explosives. All of the fireworks were put on large vehicles and taken to an off-site locale to be destroyed.
Not Just Fireworks
According to Moore, there were also “improvised explosive devices” in the home. The homemade bombs were loaded into a containment vessel. There were about 10 pounds of explosives.
The plan was to destroy them via detonation on Thursday evening. According to the bomb tech, the disposal vessel on the truck should have been safe to get rid of the IEDs.
However, the controlled detonation was anything but. The explosion affected home in a two-block radius, shaking homes and shattering windows. Nearby cars even flipped over.
Moore referred to the incident as “catastrophic.” The KCAL news helicopter was overhead and caught the explosion on video. In the video, you can see debris flying everywhere. The top of the armored container ended up two blocks away. It took out part of a roof in its travels, then landed in the people’s backyard.
In total, 17 people were injured. Six of those were civilians. Nine LAPD Officer and an ATF agent went to the hospital for care. Los Angeles Fire Department did not have any names to release but said victims ranged from 42- 85.
KCAL’s Desmond Shaw was in the helicopter and said they really weren’t expecting much from the detonation. “After it happened, we felt the blast up here, and it just kind of shook up my head a little bit.”
Moore said officers followed all the protocols, and they are investigated what went wrong with the containment unit, which is rated for 15 pounds of IEDs.