“Clearly, protocols were observed and followed. Michel Moore, Police Chief, stated that something occurred in the containment vessel that shouldn’t have happened and that we don’t know why. “But, we will find out why,” said Police Chief Michel Moore.
Windows were broken in homes, cars, and laundromats. One car was plowed in, and it was knocked to the side by the blast that was heard two blocks away.
According to Fire Chief Ralph M. Terrazas, the blast occurred shortly after 7:30 p.m. and sent nine police officers and one federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives officer with minor injuries to the hospital.
Six civilians aged 51-85 years old were taken to the hospital. Three of them had minor injuries and three had moderate injuries. One person was treated at the scene but was not transported by the fire department.
According to news reports, several people were seen on gurneys and taken to ambulances by reporters.
Although fireworks are not allowed to be sold or possessed in Los Angeles or in unincorporated areas, Terrazas stated that they cause “devastation and destruction every year.”
According to authorities, the explosion highlighted the dangers associated with underground pyrotechnic sales. Two people were killed and $3.2 million damaged in a huge fireworks explosion that occurred in March at an Ontario home east of Los Angeles.
After police spent the morning disposing of 3,000 to 5,000 lbs of commercial-grade fireworks found in the house following an early-morning tip, the explosion occurred. Moore stated that police found them on a patio, in cartons 8-10 feet high.
Moore stated that Arturo Cejas (27), a resident of the area, was arrested for possessing a destructive device. However, Moore also suggested that he could face child endangerment charges because his 10-year old brother was present in the home.
Cejas did not immediately know if he had an attorney who could represent him.
Moore stated that the bomb squad was formed because of the high volume of explosives found at the house, which posed an “imminent real threat” to the community.
The fireworks cartons were marked “Made In China” by the police chief. He said that they were purchased from the state to be sold in the area for Fourth of July use.
Moore stated that three trucks and a trailer measuring 53 feet were used to transport the fireworks to safe locations. The chief stated that “improvised explosives” were also found to be too dangerous to transport.
They were described by him as 40 devices made from scratch that are the same size as Coca-Cola cans, with a simple fuse and 200 smaller, but identical devices.
Moore stated that the material was transported to a “total container vehicle”. Moore said that the multi-ton semi tractor-trailer rig features a spherical Iron chamber, which is designed to safely explode explosives.
Moore stated that less than 10 lbs of material were placed in the chamber. This is far below its safety rating.
He said that the vessel should have been capable of disposing of the material, but that instead, it was “total and catastrophic failure of that containment device.”
Police knocked on the doors of homes before the blast, in order to ensure safety. Terrazas stated that firefighters found some people in the homes later.
Terrazas stated that the explosion caused only superficial damage to homes, gas lines, and gas lines.
Moore stated that a team of response personnel from across the country will be arriving in town to inspect the site and walk through the area for an investigation that could last several days. Moore also stated that the explosion may have caused debris and potentially dangerous material to be thrown some distance.
He advised that people who find something unusual in their yards should not touch it, but call the police.