A police chief says he believes the weight of illegally stored fireworks led to a massive blast that injured three people, including one critically. Police Chief Charlie Beck said the firework was likely too heavy for the case holding it and caused an explosion when it fell on top of another box of explosives.
The valley glen news is reporting that the Los Angeles Police Department’s chief says weight miscalculation likely lead to a massive fireworks blast in South LA.
(CBSLA) – LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore apologized on Monday for a fireworks explosion that wounded 17 people and destroyed many houses in a South L.A. neighborhood last month. He also disclosed that the weight of the explosives put in the vehicle was likely underestimated by bomb squad specialists.
FILE – An investigation is underway into a fireworks explosion in the 700 block of East 27th Street that damaged an LAPD bomb squad truck. 4th of July, 2021 (Los Angeles Times/Getty Images/Irfan Khan) )
Moore apologized outside LAPD headquarters on Monday morning at a press conference with officials from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
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Moore stated, “I want to personally convey my apologies to every citizen, business owner, and customer who has been traumatized by this event.”
On the night of June 30, near East 27th and San Pedro streets, a bungled explosion happened.
The LAPD found 32,000 pounds of illegal pyrotechnics at a neighboring house and detained the resident, a 27-year-old male. Moore estimated that approximately 200 M-80 type explosives were used in the illicit fireworks.
Ten pounds of illegal pyrotechnics were loaded onto a specially armored vehicle built for controlled detonations because they were considered too hazardous to transport.
What was intended to be a controlled detonation became a tremendous explosion instead. Ten policemen from the LAPD, one from the ATF, and six civilians were injured.
13 businesses, 22 residential buildings, and 37 cars were damaged or destroyed, according to Moore.
He said that the ATF National Response Team (NRT), which is examining the source of the explosion, has concluded that there are two potential causes. It’s possible that the vehicle, which is known as a complete containment tank, has a flaw (TCV). Alternatively, the pyrotechnics in the truck may have surpassed the vehicle’s capacity.
“First, there was a TCV defect,” Moore said. “Second, the net explosive weight…placed in the TCV exceeded the vessel’s rated explosive weight. Alternatively, a mixture of the two hypotheses.”
Moore stated that the bomb squad assessed the total net weight of explosives put in the vehicle to be 16.5 pounds prior to the explosion.
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However, an examination by the ATF NRT a few days later found that the vehicle had just over 42 pounds of explosives.
“The NRT estimated the total weight of the unlawful explosives and countercharges in the TCV to be slightly over 42 pounds of net explosive weight,” Moore stated. “According to the LAPD Bomb Squad, the total weight was 16.5 pounds… There have been major miscalculations on our part.”
LAPD Faces Angry And Frustrated South LA Residents At Monday Forum On Botched Firework Detonation RELATED: LAPD Faces Angry And Frustrated South LA Residents At Monday Forum On Botched Firework Detonation
Many of the displaced people have still not been allowed to return home. Because they had nowhere else to go, one victim told CBSLA that she and her family are now sleeping at a shoe shop they own down the street.
The city has been sued by a number of families.
Prosecutors claimed Arturo Ceja III, the suspect, bought the majority of the explosives from a dealer in Pahrump, Nevada. According to a court affidavit, the initial search of Ceja’s home turned up more than 140 other homemade fireworks — typically referred to as M devices of varying sizes — as well as explosives-making components, including hobby fuses that matched the fuse on a homemade mortar shell wrapped in tin foil discovered inside the residence.
Ceja is charged with unlawfully carrying explosives without a license by the federal government. His arraignment is set on Aug. 2.
Meanwhile, the 27th Street Incident Community Resource Center will open at the YMCA at 1006 E. 28th St. at 3 p.m. Monday, according to City Councilman Curren Price’s office.
The new resource center will be the designated place where victims may access a variety of services, including filing a claim, receiving mental health and wellness recommendations, and other supporting services. Representatives from Price’s office, the city attorney and city clerk, mental health and wellness workers, and members of the non-profit Also Peoples Community Center who will provide food and clothes will all be on hand.
Supervisors who were there at the time of the incident have been removed from the site. Within 30 days, the federal report should be completed.
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(CBS Broadcasting Inc., Copyright 2021, All Rights Reserved.) This article was written with the help of City News Service.)