Home US Large Explosion Rocks South L.A. During Police Seizure Of Illegal Fireworks
US - July 1, 2021

Large Explosion Rocks South L.A. During Police Seizure Of Illegal Fireworks

A police effort Wednesday to remove thousands of pounds of illegal fireworks from a home in South Los Angeles ended in an explosion that left more than a dozen people injured, cars destroyed and debris strewn across the neighborhood.

An anonymous tip led police to East 27th Street, where they seized more than 5,000 pounds of fireworks from behind a house, a Los Angeles Police Department spokesperson said. 

One man, Arturo Cejas III, was arrested for alleged possession of destructive devices.

The bomb squad was in the process of removing the fireworks when they detonated, the LAPD said in a statement online.

“Some of the fireworks were being stored in our Bomb Squad trailer as a precautionary measure. Unknown at this time what caused an explosion,” it said.

The spokesperson would not comment on the circumstances surrounding the explosion and said more details would be forthcoming.

The Los Angeles Fire Department said it attended to 16 people with injuries. That figure included nine LAPD officers and one ATF officer with minor injuries and six civilians, three with serious injuries and three with minor injuries.

The LAFD said it was on standby for the police department’s disposal of the fireworks when “a large explosion occurred.”

LAFD said several homes sustained varying levels of damage. Its urban search-and-rescue task force was evaluating the structural integrity of the most heavily damaged building on the street.

Several news stations remained at the scene late Wednesday. KCAL-TV reported that the explosion happened during a planned detonation shortly after 7:30 p.m. A number of journalists shared footage and images of the blast and its aftermath:

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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